Centennial Celebration

Press Releases

For Immediate Release: September 7, 2011

New York City Firefighters Demand 9-11 Related Cancers Be Covered Under Zadroga Law

Immediate Action Sought from Zadroga Special Master& NIOSH Director in the Wake of Medical Study Showing Conclusive Evidence Linking Cancer to Firefighters "Uniquely Intense WTC Exposure"

Following the publication of a cancer study in the medical journal The Lancet, providing conclusive medical proof that New York City Firefighters who responded to the World Trade Center on and following the 9-11 attacks have a 32 percent greater incidence of cancer than non-exposed firefighters, the leaders of the Uniformed Firefighters Association and Uniformed Fire Officers Association are calling upon the Federal Government, the Zadroga Fund Special Master and the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to make immediate changes to cover firefighters who are sick and dying of cancer. The seven year medical study (from 2001 - 2008) examined 9,853 New York City Firefighters and Fire Officers.

"The cancer study led by Dr. David Prezant conclusively proves that New York City Firefighters who worked at Ground Zero have 32 percent higher cancer rate than firefighters who did not participate in the response and clean up at the 22 acre attack site," said Steve Cassidy, president of the UFA. "The FDNY has also seen a significant uptick in recent years of firefighters with cancer who were not included in the study."

Mr. Cassidy continued, "We are calling on Sheila Birnbaum the Zadroga Fund Special Master and Dr. John Howard Director of NIOSH to immediately include cancer coverage for New York City Firefighters and Fire Officers who have documented their time spent and exposure to toxins at the site."

Medical doctors leading the study concluded in their report that, "firefighters experienced uniquely intense WTC exposures." ("Early assessment of cancer outcomes in New York City Firefighters after the 9/11 attacks: an observational cohort study" The Lancet, Volume 378, September 3, 2011,

"Our members and their families are already deeply concerned of the dangers that firefighters and fire officers face every day, but this study proves that those dangers far exceed those on the fire ground," said Captain Alexander Hagan, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. "You can come home from a fire safely and yet not be safe, given the staggering results of Dr. Prezant's cancer study."

Firefighter leaders say that as more medical data is able to document that other workers are also suffering from increased cancer rates they should be covered under the Zadroga Law.