Zadroga Act Cancer

World Trade Center Cancer | Zadroga Act Compensation for 9/11 Exposure

One of the heartbreaking legacies of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is the number of people who have developed cancer over the years because of toxic materials in the debris. These cancers affect not only the respiratory system but the eyes, skin, soft tissues, and even reproductive organs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reassured people in New York City and Washington, D.C., days after the attacks that the air was safe to breathe. But since then, the EPA and other medical studies have noted that the sheer magnitude and unprecedented nature of what happened on 9/11 meant those who rushed to help in the rescue and recovery had inadequate information and safety recommendations.

For instance, a 2011 study in the British medical journal The Lancet found that more than 50,000 workers who responded to the World Trade Center site alone were exposed to a mix of fire smoke, pulverized building materials, asbestos, and alkaline cement dust without proper protection. Nearly 9,000 New York City firefighters surveyed at the time had a rate of cancer 10 percent higher than a similar demographic mix of the general male population in the United States — and a 32 percent higher rate than in firefighters who hadn’t been at Ground Zero.

Compensation for September 11 Cancer Patients

If you or a loved one has been treated for cancer through the World Trade Center Health Program since July 1, 2011, you may be eligible for compensation for lost past and future earnings from the Zadroga Act September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). The reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2015 means you can apply to the VCF until December 31, 2020.

If you or a loved one has not yet been diagnosed or treated through the WTC Health Program, you still may be eligible for such compensation.

You also can apply if your loved one has since died from cancer after helping at any of the crash sites or being in lower Manhattan on 9/11 and the months afterward.

You’ll first have to register with the VCF, then be assessed (or submit supporting medical documents). If you’re filing on behalf of someone who is deceased, this documentation would include an original or certified copy of the death certificate, showing the cause of death.

Once you apply, you, your loved one, or supporting documentation will be examined by a physician in the World Trade Center Health Program who is skilled in identifying 9/11-related illnesses, including cancer.

The WTC Health Program treats and monitors a host of WTC-related conditions, including cancer, at no charge to those who use doctors and pharmacies within the program.

Cancers Related to the 9/11 Attacks

The dust from the World Trade Center’s collapse contained several known carcinogens from the building materials and burning jet fuel. These include asbestos fibers, benzene, beryllium, chromium, nickel, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The WTC dust also contained other chemicals and irritants, such as acetone, chlorine, copper, gypsum, iron, lead, manganese, silicon, synthetic vitreous fibers, toluene, and zinc.

These are some of the cancers recognized as WTC-related conditions. For a comprehensive list, please click here.

  • Breast cancer
  • Cancers of the eye, including conjunctiva, cornea, and retina
  • Cancers of the peripheral nerves and autonomic nervous system
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia and other cancers of the blood and bone marrow, such as T-cell lymphoma and Sezary’s disease
  • Digestive-system cancers, such as colon cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, hepatoblastoma, angiosarcoma of the liver, and liver cell carcinoma
  • Heart cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma, or cancer of the thin tissue covering the majority of internal organs
  • Multiple myeloma and other cancers of plasma cells and blood cells
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers of the lymphatic system
  • Oral cancers, such as cancer of the larynx, tonsils, tongue, gums, floor of the mouth, sinuses, palate, and salivary glands
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Soft-tissue cancer, such as affecting the peritoneum and retroperitoneum
  • Stomach cancer, including body cardia, fundus, and pylorus
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Urinary cancers, including bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and prostate cancer

Childhood Cancers

In addition, the World Trade Center Health Program recognizes as 9/11-related any type of cancer diagnosed in a person less than 20 years of age who attended school, a day-care facility, or otherwise was present in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, and the months afterward. You may apply for compensation from the VCF as the parent of a minor or guardian of a minor.

Rare Cancers

Certain cancers that have a particular incidence rate are classified as Rare Cancers under the WTC Health Program. These include malignant neoplasms in the following areas:

  • Adrenal gland and other endocrine glands and related structures
  • Anus and anal canal
  • Bone and articular cartilage
  • Breast among men
  • Gallbladder and other parts of biliary tract
  • Meninges, brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, and other parts of central nervous system
  • Pancreas
  • Penis and testis
  • Placenta
  • Small intestine
  • Thymus
  • Vulva, vagina, and cervix uteri (invasive only)

Also considered rare cancers are malignant neuroendocrine neoplasms, including carcinoid tumors, and myeloid neoplasms, such as:

  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms
  • Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms
  • Myeloid malignancies associated with eosinophilia and abnormalities of growth factor receptors derived from platelets or fibroblasts

How the Marcowitz Law Firm Can Help 9/11 Cancer Victims

The Marcowitz Law Firm understands how overwhelming applying for compensation under the Zadroga Act can be. But Edward Marcowitz knows the details of the Zadroga Act well. He spearheaded one of the largest pro bono efforts in history helping to recover benefits on behalf of New York City firefighters and their families under the original September 11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.

Marcowitz also is deeply honored and proud to serve as the personal attorney for the family of James Zadroga, the NYPD detective for whom this benefits act is named. He and the firm are committed to representing people injured by toxic exposures from the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath.

If you have questions about applying for benefits or filing a claim, please call us or contact us online now for a free consultation.

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