As the third anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks approaches, the federal government has still not comprehensively studied the health effects of the dust and debris that filled the air around Ground Zero in the days following the attacks, and there is still no federal treatment program for those suffering from subsequent ailments. At this point, it may be too late to answer basic questions about the health impacts of the attacks -- so concludes a study by the Government Accountability Office to be presented to Congress today. Some 250,000 to 400,000 people were either visiting, living, working, or responding at the scene in Lower Manhattan that day, and while some limited monitoring programs have been established, they are not coordinated, they use varying methods, none are scheduled to extend past 2009, and none have funding to provide treatment. Despite widespread reports of persistent respiratory problems, the U.S. EPA continues to maintain that the dust that settled over a wide area was relatively safe.
Thanks to Grist Magazine