Responding to New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s report on the health impacts of September 11, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-08) issued the following statement today:
I want to applaud Mayor Bloomberg for releasing a report on the deleterious health effects the events of September 11 have had on first responders, workers and residents of New York City. His voice will be a critical one, as the Republican Administration and Republicans in Congress have long sought to thwart efforts to help victims of the post-September 11 environmental health crisis. I look forward to working with Mayor Bloomberg and I’m especially pleased that his report recognizes that providing treatment and health care to those affected by September 11 is largely a job for the federal government.
That is exactly why I introduced The Comprehensive 9/11 Health Benefits Act last year and plan to reintroduce it again in this Congress as soon as possible.
Mt. Sinai's alarming findings that 70% of the more than 9,000 first responders they studied are suffering adverse September 11 health impacts confirm what we've known for a long time - we are facing a major public health crisis as a result of the World Trade Center attacks.
Beyond the Mayor’s call for funding individual programs – which is critical - there is still no way for the September 11-affected populations to receive the comprehensive, long-term health care coverage they would need to treat illnesses caused by exposure to the toxic dust and debris. The current approach to the funding of individual programs is limited in time, scope, and resources, and many of the illnesses will be late-onset and chronic.
The Comprehensive 9/11 Health Benefits Act provides a sensible, easy-to-access and cost-effective way to give comprehensive medical treatment to all individuals suffering from September 11-related illnesses. Importantly, the legislation establishes a structure to support the coordination of screening, monitoring, treatment, and research, with a state-of-the-art clinic located downtown – finally putting an end to the piecemeal approach to treatment that has been in place until now.
Additionally, I remain concerned that the federal government has, to this day, failed to properly test and clean indoor spaces contaminated after September 11, causing New Yorkers to continue to experience the same kinds of health problems as those affected in the early aftermath of the attacks. Since his report is silent on this subject, I urge the Mayor to join the New York Congressional delegation in demanding that the federal government engage in a proper, comprehensive testing and cleanup plan for all indoor spaces affected by World Trade Center toxins. Unfortunately, the EPA’s latest Test and Clean plan is again fundamentally flawed and scientifically unsound.
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