9-11 Museum nixes exhibit features that dispute link between Ground Zero dust and cancer, health issues

By Dan Friedman New York Daily News

The 9/11 Museum has replaced three panels that cast doubt on the link between toxic dust around Ground Zero and the subsequent health problems of thousands who worked near the site after the attack.

Last month the Daily News reported complaints about the panels by groups that represent 9/11 first responders and survivors.

Under the Zadroga Act, enacted in 2011, tens of thousands of people have received federal aid for health problems, including cancer, that doctors have certified as linked to toxic smoke and dust that lingered in the air after the attack.

But a museum exhibit titled “After 9/11” treated the connection between the air and the health issues as less certain than the federal government does.

One panel referred to the Zadroga Act as providing aid for “for those with health conditions claimed to be related” to the attack. Another said federal and city officials faced criticism for “allegedly” providing bad information about the air quality in lower Manhattan. A third panel cited a finding that dust around the site was “hazardous.”

A museum official said Thursday that the institution quietly replaced the offending panels in recent weeks. The new panels are similar but exclude the phrases “claimed to be” and “allegedly.”

The word “hazardous” is no longer in quotation marks in another new panel.

“All of that has been improved, it has been addressed,” the official said. “None of that stuff is in there anymore.”

Critics of the museum said the changes are insufficient. They want the institution to devote more space to the health problems faced by those who worked and lived near the site.

“If they aren’t prepared to fully discuss the health crisis facing 9/11 responders and survivors, then they are not doing their job and they are not meeting our demands,” said Kimberly Flynn, who chairs a committee created to help Zadroga Act beneficiaries who lived near the World Trade Center site.

“We are still waiting to actually meet with them,” Flynn said.

“So they removed two words. Big deal,” said John Feal, an activist who heads a foundation for sick first responders. “Now they have to tell the story, an accurate story. They have to say that thousands are sick and have died because of what happened.

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