Four more cancers added to list covered under Zadroga Act

By Ridgely Ochs New York Newsday

Four more cancers were formally, and finally, added to the list of those covered under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Monday.

On Feb. 18 the administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program, Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, issued an interim final rule that added four more cancers to the list of about 60 already covered.

These were brain, cervical, pancreatic and testicular cancers.

Coverage of the four cancers was effective immediately, even during the interim final rule. But when a 60-day comment period ends at the close of business Monday, the rule will automatically become final, according to a spokeswoman for NIOSH.

On September 12, 2012, Howard published a final rule adding cancers to other 9/11-associated diseases, such as respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. The cancers include those of the mouth, nose, larynx, esophagus, thyroid, stomach, colon and rectum, lung, heart, liver, breast, kidney and the urinary tract.

Prostate cancer was added to the list a year later.

A study of 55,778 responders and residents published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2012 found an increased risk of cancer just among the responders and only for prostate cancer, thyroid cancer and myeloma compared with the general population.

But researchers said at the time that the study should be viewed as interim and that cancers can take decades to develop after exposure to toxins.

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