By Erica Chang
A recent study has revealed that 297 of the 12,000 police officers who first responded to the 9/11 attacks have been diagnosed with cancer, triple the rate before the tragedy according to the Huffington Post. The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) released figures that show that the cancer rate among NYPD officers has increased from six per year before the attacks to 16 per year after the attacks.
Furthermore, the average age at which officers were diagnosed with cancer is 44, with lung cancer being the most common diagnosis. The Fire Department of the City of New York released a similar study which revealed that firefighters who came into contact with Ground Zero toxins and dust were 19 percent more likely to develop cancer than those who did not.
The James Zadroga Act, which was passed in 2011, will provide healthcare screening and financial benefits to the officers who suffer from illnesses resulting from exposure at Ground Zero. However, because of the high costs of treatment, cancer will not be covered by the Zardoga Act.
The city of New York has refused to release the figures for cancer rates among NYPD numerous times. In response to their lack of cooperation, PBA research director Frank Tramontano said, “It is our sincere opinion that the City of New York has done nothing to facilitate any cancer study and has been actively working to prevent a comprehensive examination of the issue.”