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Thursday, December 30th, 2010 9:12 am

Zadroga bill passes House and Senate, awaits signing

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (H.R. 847), called the Zadroga Act or Zadroga Bill, was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, and will soon become law. When enacted, the Zadroga Act will provide $4.3 billion in funding, establishes the World Trade Center Health Program to monitor and provide medical care to people who develop health conditions caused by 9/11 toxic exposure, orders research of 9/11 related diseases, and reopens the Victim Compensation Fund. For more information, see “What is the Zadroga Act?

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks exposed first responders, site workers and the community to dangerous toxins.

At the World Trade Center site, the massive cloud of dust created by the collapse of the Twin Towers contained toxins including asbestos, mercury, lead, silica and polyvinyl chloride. While the full extent of the health consequences of exposure to the WTC dust is unknown, potential health effects include Obstructive Airway Diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema or Obstructive Lung Defects such as Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS), occupational asthma (WTC Cough), Sarcoidosis, Silicosis and Asbestosis. Various cancers including Mesothelioma may also develop from exposure to these toxins.

Large numbers of people exposed to the 9/11 toxins have already developed serious and fatal health conditions. The Zadroga Act offers resources and funding to help these people.

First responders may be entitled to money from the Victim Compensation Fund reopened by the Zadroga Act. The Zadroga Act reopens the Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 (VCF) with about $2.5 billion in funding.

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