Health effects linked to chemicals from WTC collapse | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 82 Issue 19 | p. 28 | Concentrates
Issue Date: May 10, 2004

Health effects linked to chemicals from WTC collapse

Department: Government & Policy

The longer and more intensely people were exposed to airborne pollutants after the Sept. 11, 2001, collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC), the more severe their respiratory problems, according to a new report. The study, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and EPA, shows exposure-related increases in coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and susceptibility to bronchial spasms. Collapse of the twin towers following the terrorist attack generated thousands of tons of particulate matter composed of cement dust, glass fibers, asbestos, lead, aromatic hydrocarbons, and polychlorinated compounds such as dioxins. The prevalence of the so-called WTC cough experienced by first responders, those who cleared rubble and debris, and residents in the area near the site "was directly related to the intensity of the exposure," says lead author Philip J. Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The study is available at

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