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Press Releases

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2007

NYC Firefighters Ask Giuliani To Follow Christy Whitman in Giving 9-11 Congressional Testimony

The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York representing 24,000 active and retired New York City Firefighters is saying that Congress must continue to investigate into the reason why so many responders to the World Trade Center (WTC) attacks are sick and in some cases dying, including many firefighters.

Calling her testimony before a House sub-committee unacceptable, the UFA said it is disappointing that former EPA Administrator Christy Whitman chose to be evasive and disingenuous in testimony before Congress. The union says the sub-committee must get answers as to why thousands of rescue workers are sick.

Since 9/11, nearly 1,000 New York City firefighters have been forced to retire with career-ending disabilities due to the poisonous air at the site, and FDNY medical studies show conclusively that 10,000 firefighters lost an average of 12 years of lung capacity from the toxic air.

"Six years later no one has been made to answer for this - not Whitman, and not former Mayor Giuliani, who repeatedly stated that as Mayor he was in charge of the clean up operation," said Steve Cassidy UFA President.

70% Of Air Monitors Warn of High Toxin Levels:

In congressional hearings, Rep. Jerrold Nadler disclosed that EPA had virtually no air monitoring test results available in the first few days following the 9/11 attacks, while 70% of the air monitoring tests conducted by the City showed high levels of asbestos in outdoor air. Despite that, on Sept 13, 2001, Whitman issued a press release which stated, "Monitoring and sampling conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday have been very reassuring about potential exposure of rescue crews and the public to environmental contaminants."

When asked by NBC News if the health of Ground Zero workers was a ticking time bomb, Whitman said, "We wouldn't have been saying that the workers should wear respirators, that there was a difference, that there was a problem with the air on the pile, if we didn't think there might be health consequences from it." She says on a daily basis the EPA told the Giuliani Administration that rescue workers must wear masks, as was required at the Pentagon attack site.

Mr. Cassidy said, "You can not wear respirators when you don't have them. New York City Firefighters did not get respirators because the Giuliani administration failed to provide them and ensure that those working on the pile had them and used them."

The UFA President concluded, "The 9/11 Commission gave Rudy Giuliani a pass, not asking him tough questions about what he knew, when he knew it or why he failed to provide respirators to firefighters and other first responders. America needs answers, and that is why New York City firefighters are calling on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to bring Rudy Giuliani in to testify under oath."