This means rescue and recovery workers suffering from cancers won't be able to collect federal money for treatment or compensation -- yet.
However, the report also said that "does not indicate evidence of the absence of a causal association."
Under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, the administrator of the World Trade Center Program must conduct period reviews of scientific and medical evidence. If a causal association were established, recovery workers and others with cancer diagnoses they attribute to the attack could be eligible for compensation.
The act provides monies for a specific list of illnesses, such as asthma and other respiratory diseases. Cancer could be included if NIOSH found a direct causal link.
The initial review was based on three information sources, according to NIOSH:
- A systematic search of peer-reviewed findings on exposure and cancer resulting from the terrorist attacks that have been published in the scientific and medical literature between Sept. 11, 2001, and July 1, 2011.
- Findings and recommendations related to cancer from the WTC Clinical Centers of Excellence and Data Centers, the WTC Health Registry at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the New York State Department of Health.
- Information from the public solicited through requests for information published in the Federal Register earlier this year.
But the report said there was little evidence to go on since few published research studies on the attack mention cancer and few of those are peer-reviewed. Also, it said proving a causal connection is challenging since cancer is "not a rare disease."
NIOSH said the research into cancer and the WTC exposures is ongoing and a second review is expected in early to mid-2012.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
August 8, 2011
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