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Health problems grow for those exposed to WTC 'dust'

On September 18, 2001, as fires still smoldered at the the trade center, Whitman said the air in Lower Manhattan was “safe to breathe.” She continued to reassure New Yorkers in the days and weeks that followed.

WNYC report on a class action lawsuit against the EPA and its former administrator, Christine Todd Whitman, for telling people the air in Lower Manhattan was safe shortly after the World Trade Towers collapsed

It was all about getting Wall Street back up and running, and now, folks are dying from breathing in that air full of toxic dust. According to the BBC, the number of people affected has risen to 15,000, and the government estimates between 30,000 and 50,000 people were at or near Ground Zero — and were exposed to that hazardous dust.

On Tuesday, a coroner said the death of a policeman who developed a respiratory disease was “directly linked” to 9/11. James Zadroga – who worked at Ground Zero – died in January. The New Jersey coroner’s ruling was the first of its kind.

…Jeff Endean used to be the macho leader of a police Swat firearms team. Now, he has trouble breathing and survives on the cocktail of drugs he takes every day.

Kelly Colangelo, an IT specialist, used to have good health but now endures a range of problems including asthma and sinus pain.

“It worried me that I’ve been damaging my health just being in my home,” she told the BBC News website. “It also worries me that I see the health impact on the [the emergency crews at the scene]. We were also exposed and I wonder if in 10-15 years from now, am I going to be another victim?”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding