Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center studied nearly 13,000 rescue workers from the FDNY for seven years. The findings indicate that a significant proportion who suffered acute lung damage after exposure to World Trade Center dust have not recovered normal lung function.
"This exposure at ground zero was so unique that no one could have predicted the impact on lung function," said David Prezant, professor of medicine at Einstein and senior author of the study. "We demonstrated dramatic decline in lung function mostly in the first six months after 9/11, and these declines persisted with little or no meaningful recovery of lung function among FDNY rescue workers (firefighters and emergency medical service workers) over the next six-and-a-half years."
The report followed up on a 2006 study that assessed lung function one year after the 9/11 attacks. In that study, Prezant and colleagues found that FDNY rescue workers suffered substantial loss in lung function in the year after the attacks -- more than 12 times the decline in lung function that would be expected with normal aging. The largest decline was observed among workers who arrived at the WTC site the morning of 9/11 when the dust cloud was most intense.
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May 27, 2010
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