WTC first responders have higher frequency of gene mutations linked to cancer

Recovery workers who searched the wreckage of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have higher levels of a genetic mutation linked with blood cancers than firefighters who did not work the recovery, finds a new study published in Nature Medicine.

Brian P. Dunleavy reports for UPI that a mutation known as clonal hematopoiesis was found among those exposed to WTC toxins at two to three times higher the level than that found in non-recovery workers.

Clonal hematopoiesis is generally caused by exposure to toxins. It causes mutations in blood cells, leaving those with the condition more susceptible to blood cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and asthma.

Researchers responsible for the study suggest that WTC Health Program should incorporate genetic testing similar to the study’s into its programs for screening purposes.

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