Feds: Cancer victims aren't covered under James Zadroga Act
Supporters of the law that compensates ailing Ground Zero first responders were seething at the federal government’s decision Tuesday to exclude cancer from the list of 9/11-related health problems.
“I’ve been to 53 funerals in the last five years, and 51 were cancer-related,” said first responder advocate John Feal. “This is an insult.”
“There are people who can’t even afford the gas to [get to] their chemotherapy sessions,” he added.
The report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health determined that there is not enough evidence to connect cancer with exposure to the toxic rubble at the World Trade Center 10 years ago.
President Barack Obama signed the James Zadroga Act – named after the NYPD officer who died of a respiratory disease in 2006 – in January after a hard-fought campaign by New York lawmakers.
It will pay out more than $4 billion in health aid and compensation to first responders and those living near Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11. The feds said another review looking at cancer will be released next year.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) sent a letter yesterday asking for swifter action because, “for many responders, this is a matter of life and death.”
Should cancer victims be covered under the James Zadroga Act?