Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern, LLP, Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in the World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigations, today announced its strong support for the Draft Report release by the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). That report, provided at the request of the Administrator of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Law of 2010 ("Zadroga Act") recommends that the Zadroga program provide coverage for treatment and monitoring of some 20 cancers believed related to the toxic exposures suffered by first responders and other workers at the site of the World Trade Center during rescue, recovery and debris removal activities following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Pending a further hearing scheduled for March 28, 2012, the Committee's initial recommendations are that cancers of the respiratory system (including nose, nasal cavity and middle ear, lung and bronchus, pleura, trachea, mediastinum and other respiratory organs be listed as WTC-related conditions. These cancers are associated with exposure to many carcinogenic agents of concern at the WTC, including arsenic, asbestos, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, silica dust and soot. The respiratory tract is also the major site for acute and chronic toxicity resulting from WTC-exposures, including chronic nasopharyngitis, upper airway hyperreactivity, chronic laryngitis, interstitial lung disease, "chronic respiratory disorder - fumes/vapors", reactive airways disease syndrome (RADS) and chronic cough syndrome.
The committee has also recommended that certain cancers of the digestive system, including esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum, liver and intrahepatic bile duct, retroperitoneum, peritoneum, omentum and mesentery be listed as WTC-related conditions. The Committee also noted that gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) is associated with cancer of the esophagus, especially if it progresses to Barrett esophagus. Since cancer of the distal esophagus, gastroesophageal junction and gastric cardia share common risk factors, the Committee listed GERD as a WTC-related condition for stomach as well as esophageal cancer. More information, and a copy of the Committee's draft report can be found at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Heal ("NIOSH") website (URL): http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/archive/docket248.html.
"Of course, our clients' experiences and illnesses have demonstrated to us and to those others who have been working with these cases that there is a strong link between their exposures at the WTC site and developing a number of different cancers," said Senior Partner Paul J. Napoli. "We are gratified to see that the scientific community and the Zadroga Administrators are now taking steps to be sure appropriate coverage will be available to all WTC responders for all of their resulting injuries," Napoli continued. "We have fought long and hard for these heroic WTC responders and we are so glad to know that the Zadroga program is now taking proper steps to provide adequate coverage for all WTC injuries."