9/11 Health Information Forum Held in Chinatown with more to come

A 30 Downtown Express article reported on one of several 9/11 Health Information Forums that was held to inform local residents of their potential eligibility for compensation of medical expenses if they developed an illness that can be directly linked to contaminant exposure related to the World Trade Center attacks.

There are around 250,000 people who lived, worked and went to school in Lower Manhattan that were exposed to the toxins downtown following 9/11 and what many of them don’t know is they may be eligible for health care and compensation through the World Trade Center Health Program or the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. These 9/11 Health Information Forums are seeking to raise awareness in the communities that the benefits aren’t just for first responders.

That law passed by congress is not just for the first responders — that’s what a lot of people think — but it affects everybody who was exposed to the toxic dust,
— Michael Barasch, Attorney who represented now deceased New York Police Department officer James Zadroga

James Zadroga died in 2006 of respiratory disease directly related to 9/11 toxic dust he inhaled while working at Ground Zero. He is who the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was named for. The Zadroga Act is a United States law that funds medical treatment and provides health monitoring to those first responders, rescue workers, volunteers and survivors who have developed and are experiencing diseases directly related to the toxic dust and debris from the 9/11 attacks.

In the months following 9/11, the EPA gave the all clear for over 300,000 residents, students and workers to return to the affected area. We now know the air was full of toxins and carcinogens well into May of 2002. The residents who resumed their normal daily lives were exposed to poisons in the environment and some are only now making the connection between their cancers and disease and the 9/11 dust cloud.

These forums serve to bring awareness to the rights and benefits that may be available for those who are now sick and were exposed to 9/11 toxins.  If you have a diagnosis and lived, went to school or worked in Lower Manhattan, you could be entitled to benefits under the WTC Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Click on Eligibility & Coverage under 9/11 VCF Info to learn more.