9/11 World Trade Center Environmental Health News 2001 Archive



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  • Hundreds Of Firefighters Out Sick Claiming WTC Illness … As dozens of the city’s bravest continue to work near the World Trade Center disaster site, possibly hundreds of their co-workers – complaining of respiratory and other illnesses – aren’t coming to work at all. (NY1, December 21, 2001)
  • Hundreds of Firefighters Said to be Ill (abcNews, December 21, 2001)
  • Congress Approves $12 Million For Health-Tracking Of 9-11 Rescue Workers: Funding Would Help Launch Clinton Proposal to Monitor the Long-Term Health of Workers at Ground Zero (Clinton News Release, December 21, 2001)
  • WTC Injuries May Force Early Retirements in FDNY (1010Wins, December 21, 2002)
  • WTC Fires Out (ABCNews, December 19, 2001)
  • World Trade Center Fires are Finally Extinguished (1010wins.com/Local News, Dec 19, 2001)
  • A Tale of Two Schools … continues to test for possible causes of faculty and student health problems, such as acquired asthma, upper-respiratory disease, chronic headaches, and itchy eyes and skin…. (Village Voice, December 19, 2001)
  • Residents Rally Over Air Quality In Lower Manhattan … More than 100 downtown residents gathered on the steps of City Hall Tuesday night to protest what they say is unsafe air quality in Lower Manhattan. Many of the protesters say the air downtown is still making residents, students, and workers sick. They want city officials to relocate the removal of debris away from large housing complexes. (NY1, December 18, 2001)
  • Environmental Studies of the World Trade Center area after the September 11, 2001 attack. (U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Open File Report OFR-01-0429, Version 1.1, 18-Dec-2001, Last modified 21-Feb-2003)
  • Bosses try to ease ground-zero fears … Getting back to business is proving to be a challenge … Once the main hub of New York’s financial district, the site of the former World Trade Center is now a scene of devastation. (MSNBC, December 14, 2001)
  • Medical Aftershocks … Will the long-term effects of working at the World Trade Center disaster site put rescue workers and volunteers at risk — and is enough being done to monitor their health? (MotherJones, by Susan Q. Stranahan December 10, 2001)
  • WTC dust makes some ill (United Press International, December 17, 2001)
  • Parents Want WTC Fires Out Before Elementary School Reopens … Many parents of students at the elementary school closest to the World Trade Center disaster site said Wednesday they want an alternate facility kept open until all the fires from the wreckage have been extinguished. (New York-AP/7online/ABC, December 5, 2001)
  • Asbestos, Lead, PCB Exposure Potential Risk Of Environmental Aftermath From WTC Collapse … A scientific news article released today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that the collapse of the World Trade Centers may have serious long term environmental health effects on those in harms way, including children, office workers, rescuers and residents.(Internet Wire, December 4, 2001)
  • Senator Clinton Calls For Senate Hearing On Environmental, Health Concerns At Ground Zero: Senator Reiterates Concern About Potential Long-Term … On December 4, at a Senate Environmental and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) called on the Committee to hold a hearing early next year to examine possible environmental health problems at and around Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christine Todd Whitman was testifying before the EPW Committee. At today’s hearing, Senator Clinton remarked, with regard to conditions around Ground Zero, “Kids are going to school, the air is being tested, but there’s a lot of what we’re now calling ‘World Trade Center cough,’ and respiratory and asthma problems. Mr. Chairman, I think this will be a good matter to hold a hearing about when we get back after the holidays, so we can try to figure out what we should be doing and how we can provide good information to the businesses and families located in the area.” (Press Release, December 4, 2001)


  • New York Air Quality … NPR’s Richard Harris reports on New Yorkers who are experiencing respiratory problems from living or working near Ground Zero. Even though the air quality in the vicinity meets current federal safety standards, many people are reporting trouble with asthma (NPR, November 29, 2001)
  • Major Oil Spills at Ground Zero … More than 130,000 gallons of oil from transformers and high-voltage lines — most of it containing low levels of hazardous PCBs — were lost at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 when two downtown Con Edison substations were destroyed. In addition to the Con Ed release, confirmed by company spokesman Mike Clendenin, the Port Authority is unable to account for 50,000 of 70,000 gallons of diesel and fuel oil stored in belowground tanks at the Trade Center complex to power emergency generators. (NYDaily News, November 29, 2001)
  • More Ground Zero Air Studies Urged … State agencies should be doing more to determine whether there are any potential long-term health risks from the air around the World Trade Center site, Assembly leaders said yesterday. (Daily News, November 27)
  • Airing Their Health Concerns … health and testified about a variety of maladies, including bloody noses, burning eyes and asthma…. (Newsday, November 27, 2001)
  • Focus: Environmental Aftermath … World Trade Center (Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 109, Number 11, November 2001)
  • Residents Still Concerned About Ground Zero Air Quality … What is going on with the air quality at Ground Zero? Many people have asked that same question. Monday morning, state leaders met in Lower Manhattan to address the issue. Anthony Johnson reports. (New York-WABC, November 26, 2001)
  • Unhealthy aftereffects for rescuers and New Yorkers … Physicians worry that some will eventually develop chronic asthma or other conditions because of air contaminants from the World Trade Center destruction. (AMNews/American Medical News, By Victoria Stagg Elliott, Nov. 26, 2001.)
  • Public Distrusts Gov’t Air Tests … Government agencies monitoring the air quality near Ground Zero have lost much of their credibility with the public, Environmental Protection Agency officials and public health experts said yesterday. “I think the government has collected a lot of information, but it’s clear that some people aren’t believing it when they hear it,” Dr. George Thurston, an NYU environmental medicine expert, said during a Pace University panel on the environmental impact of the Trade Center attacks. Whether it’s a general post-Watergate mistrust of government agencies or the belief that the city is engaged in spin control to keep businesses alive, the argument that the air is safe is not registering with the public — particularly those who have felt irritation from smoke and dust near Ground Zero, panelists said. (NY Daily News, November 21, 2001)
  • Asbestos Taints Workers’ Refuge … Exhausted firefighters and cops — their lungs hurting from the thick air around the collapsed World Trade Center — wandered into the nearby Embassy Suites hotel on Sept. 11 looking for a place to sleep and something to eat. For the next five days, the evacuated hotel served as a refuge for dozens of the city’s Bravest and Finest and handfuls of volunteer rescue workers. It may not have been the best place to go. (Daily News, November 20, 2001)
  • Safety Guidelines Set For WTC Site Workers … Dems seeking cleanup czar (Daily News, November 20, 2001)
  • Pols: WTC Needs Oversight (CBS, November 20. 2002)
  • Feds, City Ignore Asbestos Cleanup Rules, Says EPA Vet (NY Daily News, November 20, 2001)
  • Officials Call For Single Agency To Monitor Cleanup, Environment At Ground Zero … Over two months after the World Trade Center attack, there are still concerns over the air quality in Lower Manhattan. And as results from an independent study of the air quality at and around the site were announced on Monday morning, a group of elected officials called for a single agency to oversee all of the aspects fo the cleanup at the World Trade Center disaster site. NJ Burkett reports. (New York-WABC, November 19, 2001)
  • Cleanup Worries: Residents, doctors see WTC health risks … The air quality and round-the-clock cleanup near the World Trade Center has left many residents near there sick and traumatized, according to testimony at a City Council hearing yesterday. According to residents of the area, as well as doctors and other experts, the environmental risks near Ground Zero are far greater than what the city or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say. (NY Newsday, November 9, 2001)
  • Downtown Air’s Risky, M.D. Warns … Despite official assurances that the air in lower Manhattan is safe to breathe, an occupational health expert testified yesterday that it is causing serious respiratory ailments. “We did not anticipate that we would see this problem to such an extent among those working or living peripheral to Ground Zero,” said Dr. Stephen Levin, medical director of occupational and environmental diseases at Mount Sinai Medical Center. (Daily News, November 9, 2001)
  • Environmental Concerns Aired at City Council Hearing … Two months after the World Trade Center attacks, lower Manhattan residents feel that their physical and mental health have been damaged by the disaster and the cleanup efforts, a City Council committee was told Thursday. (Associated Press/NYCOSH, By Karen Matthews, November 8, 2001)
  • Residents Say City Not Doing Enough To Assure Them About Health Concerns Near Ground Zero … Just how safe is the air in lower Manhattan, in the area where the World Trade Towers once stood? The Environmental Protection Agency says their testing shows it is safe, but some residents are so concerned, they ordered their own tests. Now they are demanding the city take another look at the air quality around ground zero. David Ushery reports from lower Manhattan with more. (New York-WABC, November 8, 2001)
  • School Dust Stirs Health Concerns (By Michael O. Allen and Joe Williams, Daily News, November 7, 2001)
  • Scientist Studies Health Risks for Firefighters at Ground Zero and Elsewhere (Disaster Relief, November 6, 2001)
  • HEALTH: Now, ‘WTC Syndrome’ … New York-area physicians have begun seeing a series of illnesses among emergency workers and others who were trapped in the dense plumes of dust and debris on Sept. 11 after the Twin Towers collapsed. Dubbed World Trade Center Syndrome, the ailments range from unrelenting coughs and sinus infections to posttraumatic stress and acute lung traumas, including severe asthma requiring mechanical respiration. (Newsweek, November 5, 2001)
  • Your Home; Cleaning Dust From Air Ducts … RESPONSIBLE homeowners are generally diligent about cleaning their homes and apartments to eliminate dust and dirt from floors and furniture. And good property managers are equally attuned to similar conditions in lobbies and hallways of buildings they manage. But hidden deep within the bowels of some buildings, indoor air quality experts say, lie the seeds of potential problems in the form of dust, mold, pollen, germs, fungi and other microbes and materials that may have accumulated inside heating and air-conditioning ducts and buildingwide ventilation systems. And that, the experts say, combined with heightened concerns about the general air quality in some parts of the city in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack, has resulted in a sharp increase in the calls they are getting for air duct and ventilation system testing and cleaning services. ”I’ve been getting calls nonstop,” said Joshua Sarett, president of ALC Environmental, an environmental testing and remediation company in Manhattan. Mr. Sarett said that while most of the calls he had received were from building owners and residents in the area surrounding the World Trade Center site, he had also been hearing from homeowners, apartment owners and building managers in other parts of the city and its suburbs. …. Damon Gersh, president of Maxons Restorations, a Manhattan company that specializes in restoring damaged property, said his company had been receiving up to 200 calls a day from property owners and residents in southern Manhattan who are worried about conditions in their buildings and apartments. And in most cases, he said, what workers are finding — even in buildings and apartments that have already been cleaned — is a fine powderlike material clinging to walls, floors, furniture and other furnishings. What is particularly troubling, Mr. Gersh said, is that, in some cases, the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in some buildings are acting like dust-delivery systems, contaminating and recontaminating apartments and hallways throughout the building. ”This stuff is so fine, its particles ride on the air wherever the air goes,” he said, explaining that because of the way some heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems were designed, dust outside the building could be drawn into the building’s mechanical system through exterior vents. ”And the filters installed in most systems are not meant to handle this type of material,” Mr. Gersh said, adding that when his company is first called into a building with a dust problem it installs layers of high-efficiency filters at the air intake to prevent additional dust from entering the system. Once that has been done, Mr. Gersh said, workers clean the various parts of the system, including the fan, the coil, the unit housing and the ductwork. The tools they use include a high-efficiency particulate air cleaner, referred to as a HEPA vacuum. ”The first thing we’re doing is removing and cleaning all the registers and then brushing and HEPA-vacuuming the transition from the register to the ductwork,” Mr. Gersh said, referring to the process of cleaning the grill-like intake and exhaust grates mounted in walls, floors or ceilings. Once that is done, he said, it is then necessary to brush out and vacuum the interior of the ducts themselves — a project that can sometimes mean cutting temporary access holes in the ductwork. ”The key to doing this kind of work is that you have to make sure you clean every part of the system,” he said, explaining that if one part of a building wide heating or ventilation system is not cleaned, that component will eventually recontaminate the rest of the system. As a result, Mr. Gersh said, it is generally advisable to coordinate the cleaning of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system with the cleaning of individual apartments. ”If you clean an apartment before the ventilation system is cleaned, you’re probably going to end up with more dust entering that apartment,” he said. Steven Wolfson, president of Environmental Cleaning Systems, an environmental remediation company in Valley Stream, N.Y., said that even buildings without a centralized heating and air-conditioning system could have dust problems because of the presence of a buildingwide ventilation system. Mr. Wolfson explained that in many multistory buildings, instead of installing exterior windows in bathrooms and kitchens to provide for necessary ventilation, builders instead installed ventilation shafts that run from the ground level to the roof, thereby providing mechanically assisted ventilation for rooms abutting the shaft. With a properly working system, he said, air is drawn through the shaft and from each kitchen and bath connected to it, by a fan installed on the roof. It is not uncommon, however, for ventilation shafts to become caked with dust and debris over the years. Nor is it uncommon for rooftop fans to fail or for the vent shaft itself to become clogged, thereby making it possible for any material present in the shaft to find its way into apartments in the building. …. (NYTimes, by Jay Romano, November 4, 2001)
  • Officials downplay risks of pollution near Ground Zero … Asbestos, fiberglass, benzene, dioxin, freon. All these pollutants and toxins were released into the atmosphere when the World Trade Center towers imploded and their remains burned. (CNN, November 4, 2001)
  • NIEHS Responds to World Trade Center Attacks (Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 109, Number 11, November 2001)
  • Health Consequences of the 11 September 2001 Attacks (Editorial, Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 109, Number 11, November 2001)
  • Recovery Workers at Trade Center Site Should See Doctors, … that has been dubbed “World Trade Center cough.”. … periods at the trade center site to see a … been diagnosed with occupational asthma and upper respiratory … (AP, November 3, 2001)
  • Fire May Smolder for Months (Daily News, by Greg Gittrich, November 1, 2001)


  • Christie Whitman: EPA’s on Top of Ground Zero Case … Those of us in government and the media share an obligation to provide members of the public, in a responsible and calm manner, with the information they need to protect themselves and their families from any environmental hazards that may result from the attacks on the World Trade Center. (NY Daily News, October 31, 2001)
  • New York City Health Department to Conduct Survey of Lower Manhattan Residents to Assess Physical and Mental Health Needs (NYCDOH, October 31, 2001)
  • NY firefighters report illness … Firefighters worked round the clock at the devastated site (BBC, October 31, 2001)
  • Complaints No Surprise to Doctors … Local doctors say they’re not surprised that firefighters working at Ground Zero are complaining of respiratory problems and eye irritation. (NY Daily News, October 30, 2001)
  • THE WAR ON TERROR: Breathing Uneasily: Respiratory problems plaguing firefighters … Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen said yesterday that nearly 4,000 firefighters who battled the fires at the World Trade Center are suffering respiratory problems and have been given inhalers by the department. Von Essen said the department is in the… (NY Newsday, by Margaret Ramirez, October 30, 2001)
  • Firefighters to be checked for ‘WTC cough’ … Firefighters who raced to the World Trade Center collapse last month will be checked for respiratory problems. (CNN, October 29, 2001)
  • Gupta: Health concerns at Ground Zero … When the World Trade Center towers collapsed, tons of dust containing an assortment of dangerous substances released into the air. Some say it has created new medical concerns for those working and living in the area. (CNN, October 29, 2001)
  • WTC’s Toxic Exposure a Worry … Seven weeks after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center about 400,000 tons of rubble and steel have been removed, but the site still smolders and there is some concern about the dioxins, PCBs, benzene, sulfur dioxide and lead emitted at the 16-acre site. “We’re highly critical and highly concerned, there’s a lack of safety protective equipment and while some major concerns have been addressed there is a long way to go,” David Newman, an industrial hygienist with the New York Committee for Occupational and Safety Health, told United Press International. “These heroes should not be subject to disease or accidents.” (United Press International, October 28, 2001)
  • On top of everything else, pollution … EPA finds chemical levels exceeding safety standards at still-burning trade center (Associated Press, by Diego Ibarguen, October 27, 2001)
  • A Toxic Nightmare at Disaster Site: Air, water, soil contaminated … Toxic chemicals and metals are being released into the environment around lower Manhattan by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and by the fires still burning at Ground Zero, according to internal government reports obtained by the Daily News. (NY Daily News, October 26, 2001)
  • Toxins released at Trade Center site: New documents show levels of metals, chemicals exceed federal limits (AP/MSNBC.COM October 26, 2001)
  • Feds: Rescue Workers Not Protected … A federal agency has slammed the city for not taking steps to protect rescue workers from injuries immediately after the World Trade Center catastrophe. In a sharply worded report, consultants for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences said nearly 1,000 injuries? (Daily News, October 26, 2001)
  • Worries and Reassurances about Air Quality Near Ground Zero … For weeks after the September 11th attacks, residents raised concerns about potentially dangerous chemicals released into the air at Ground Zero as debris from the World Trade Center smoldered. Today, the government acknowledged some of the chemicals did exceed federal safety standards. Stacey Sager reports from Lower Manhattan. (New York-WABC, October 26, 2001)
  • Rachel’s Environment & Health News#736 – Here We Go Again: PBDEs (October 25, 2001)
  • ‘Looking for Normal’: Ground Zero Neighborhood struggling for what once was … harrowing memory and asthma attacks keep some of them away… (abcNews, October 25, 2001)
  • Environmental Aftermath …. Many of the people closest to the World Trade Center relief efforts are not satisfied with how government agencies are handling the cleanup. There appear to be a lot of gaps. In particular, residents, workers and advocates have expressed concern about the lack of coordination, and the lack of information, on environmental health issues at Ground Zero and the neighborhoods around it. (Gotham Gazette, By Michael Burger, 10/22/01)
  • Mystery Illness at School Near WTC (IAQ News/ Indoor Air Quality EPA/AP Online, by Katherine Roth, October 18, 2001)
  • Stuyvesant Students Complain of Headaches (Newsday, October 18, 2001)
  • ‘IT’S NOT THE SAME PLACE’ The air still reeks, and graphic reminders of the Sept. 11 … attacks are everywhere as Battery Park City residents try to figure out whether to stay or to go … (Newsday, October 16, 2001)
  • Something In the Air … New Yorkers may now live in dread of bio-terrorism, but potentially harmful substances already hang in the air over their city – the smoke and dust created by the World Trade Center collapse. “It was like trying to breathe in the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag,” says one of the New York detectives caught in the huge dust cloud thrown up on 11 September as he shows journalists around Ground Zero. (BBC News Online, October 15, 2001)
  • Seeking Answers About Air Quality In the aftermath, uncertainty lingers … Carl Friedberg, who has lived in lower Manhattan since 1979, said he and his 10-year-old son, Sam, have been coughing and wheezing almost every night. But Friedberg said the panelists at the meeting made him feel better about the air quality. “I felt reassured as a resident, that even though there are health effects, I’m not going to die,” he said. “I might lose two or three years off my life, but that’s OK with me.” The most serious concerns are related to fiberglass, dioxins and PCBs in the air. The New York Environmental Law and Justice Project distributed an informational flier saying an independent analysis of dust samples from the area found three of four contained fiberglass at levels between 10 percent and 15 percent. The International Agency for Research and Cancer lists some of those glass fibers as carcinogenic to humans. … (Newsday, October 12, 2001)
  • WTC still smoking one month later by William M. Reilly … The 16-acre site where the World Trade Center stood one month ago was still smoldering Wednesday as Gov. George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani gave 11 governors a tour of the devastation. (UPI, October 11, 2001)
  • Some still fear environmental hazards near World Trade Center site (Environmental News Network/Associated Press, By Karen Matthews, October 10, 2001)
  • WTC cleanup triggers safety, cost allegation … While much of New York may be uniting in the wake of the Sept. 11 air attacks, catastrophe specialists and janitors are engaged in a fierce battle for contracts to clean offices and apartments covered in dust and debris. (Reuters, by Jonathan Landreth , October 10, 2001)
  • Officials insist air is safe, but resident questions linger … Depending on which way the wind blows, the World Trade Center smoke stench is still pungent in the air, and one of the most frequent concerns cited by Lower Manhattan residents remains air quality. Environmental officials have repeatedly said that Downtown air is safe to breathe. In some instances, asbestos has been found in the air, and more frequently, although still in the minority of cases, asbestos has been found in dust particles. Bonnie Bellow, spokesperson for the city’s Environmental Protection Agency, said asbestos only poses risks in the long term, and it all can be cleaned up in the short run. “The risk from asbestos comes from long-term exposure,” said Bellow. She said the E.P.A. is now examining a study conducted by HP Environmental, which concluded that the asbestos particles that were released after the Twin Towers were destroyed Sept. 11, are too small to be detected either by the monitors installed by the E.P.A. or the city’s Dept. of Environmental Protection. … (Downtown Express, by Josh Rogers, October 9, 2007)
  • Stuyvesant High School Re-Opens Near Ground Zero … For the first time since the September 11th, Stuyvesant high school is re-opened Tuesday morning. It is the first of the schools in the shadow of Ground Zero to welcome students back. Anthony Johnson reports. (Lower Manhattan-WABC, October 9, 2001)
  • GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES $8.5 MILLION FOR ASTHMA INITIATIVES … Federal Funds Enhance Initiatives Targeting Respiratory Impacts of WTC Tragedy (Press Release, October 9, 2001)
  • Feds Provide $5 Million For Trade Center Air Monitoring … The Centers for Disease Control will provide $5 million to monitor air quality in lower Manhattan and address potential respiratory impacts of the World Trade Center collapse. Some of the grant money will be used to assess the air in homes and schools around the trade center wreckage and to continue surveillance of the respiratory health of rescuers and construction crews at ground zero, state health officials said Tuesday. (Albany-AP, October 9, 2001)
  • Asbestos Higher in Newer Test … Asbestos contamination inside buildings near the World Trade Center site may be far worse than government officials have reported, according to a new study by a top private toxicology firm. (Daily News, October 9, 2001)
  • SECOND DRAFT: PREDICTING HEALTH IMPACTS OF THE DISASTER: 1. Cognitive condensation, halogenated hydrocarbons, and traumatic perturbation (October 8, 2001)
  • Is Ground Zero Safe? … New study suggests more asbestos at disaster site than previously revealed. In the weeks since the World Trade Center was attacked, evidence is mounting that large quantities of asbestos were showered down on lower Manhattan. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has 16 stationary air-quality reading stations throughout ground zero and has been studying the debris regularly, has said that 34 dust samples (out of 128 studied) and a handful of air readings have been positive for significant asbestos. But a new study by independent researchers suggests even more asbestos was released than those EPA tests have revealed and in a potentially more dangerous form. (MSNBC, By David France, October 5, 2001)


  • Workers Endure Rain And Smoke At Ground Zero …Workers endure rain and smoke at Ground Zero, as the mayor unveils a new way everyone can help in the recovery effort. Cheryl Fiandaca reports. (New York-WABC, September 30, 2001)
  • How Dangerous Was That Dark Cloud Hanging Over Manhattan? The Dust May Never Settle (Village Voice, September 26, 2001)
  • Residents enlist scientists to study air quality … Battery Park City’s River Rose building at 333 Rector St. is scheduled to reopen Sept. 25, meaning all but four of the neighborhood’s 20 buildings will be open two weeks afer the Trade Center was destroyed. Donald Scherer, a resident who helped form a tenants association for the whole neighborhood, said after getting few answers from any powers that be in the first week, the communication has improved tremendously, particularly with the Battery Park City Authority. … He said he had been getting hundreds of e-mails a day from neighbors looking for answers. Many would post messages at BatteryParkCityonline.com. The neighborhood’s 8,000 residents left or were evacuated on Sept.11. In the first few days, people were worried about the pets they left behind and tried unsuccessfully to retrieve essential items such as medications. But gradually, residents were allowed to return for escorted visits, and now most have been able to return for good. The remaining buildings yet to reopen are Gateway Plaza, Hudson Towers, Hudson View, and Parc Place. Timothy Carey, president and C.E.O. of the Battery Park City Authority, said Gateway 600 has suffered the most damage and will likely be the last building to reopen. There has been no indication when any of the remaining buildings will reopen. … (Downtown Express, by Jennifer Jensen, Sept. 26, 2007)
  • 1,000 people storm out of chaotic meeting … A meeting called by City Councilmember Kathryn Freed for residents of the frozen zone in Tribeca drew about 1,000 people to New York University’s Main Building on Sept. 24 but broke up in chaos and anger after 10 minutes when an expected representative of the city Office of Emergency Management did not show up. Tribecans desperate for information about when the frozen zone would open to allow them to return home received nothing from a young representative from the city Office of Legislative Affairs nor from elected officials including Freed, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and State Sen Tom Duane. Freed told the audience, which filled two large rooms and left many standing, that the size of the crowd should send a message to the city administration about how many people live Downtown. She too left the meeting quickly. When the Legislative Affairs aide said he did not know when the frozen zone would shrink, members of the audience hooted and heckled. Before leaving, many vowed a public demonstration protesting the lack of information. They said they had been told that the buildings in the zone were sound.Silver told a reporter that he only learned of the meeting at 5 p.m. It was supposed to start at 7:30 p.m. but began a half-hour later to accommodate the crush of people. Silver said he and Glick were at the command center in the frozen zone earlier in the day trying to get answers for Downtown residents but had no luck. He indicated that good information may be hard to come by soon. “It’s going to be a building by building effort,” he said, adding that the zone is also a crime scene. (Downtown Express, by Jennifer Jensen & Albert Amateau, , Sept. 26, 2007)
  • American Lung Association To Distribute Cleanup Kits For Residents Near The WTC …The American Lung Association announced Wednesday it will distribute more than 10,000 cleanup kits to help people in areas near the ruins of the World Trade Center return safely to their homes. “Going home is a fundamental step in the healing process,” said Cindy Erickson, chief executive officer of the American Lung Association of New York. “Hopefully, when armed with information and tools, these New Yorkers will be ready to rebuild and resume their lives.” Each “Operation Return Home” kit will include recommendations from the city Department of Health regarding how to clean apartments affected by the Sept. 11 destruction of the Trade Center as well as a dust mask and a pair of latex gloves for cleaning. (New York-AP, September 26, 2001)
  • Uneasy breathing: As the dust settles in New York, concerns linger about health risks in the air (MSNBC, September 26, 2001)
  • What’s Lurking in That Smoke? … Some public-health experts fear the World Trade Center’s fireball and collapse released a toxic stew of potentially harmful particles … Business Week, September 20, 2001)
  • Beware Scientologists Claiming To Be Mental Health Professionals: Group Intentionally Confusing Public … The National Mental Health Association (NMHA) today is warning the public and media to beware of representatives of the Church of Scientology who are claiming to be mental health professionals assisting individuals in New York City. “This is a very important and sensitive time,” said Michael M. Faenza, President and CEO of NMHA. “I urge the Church of Scientology to stay out of mental health. The public needs to understand that the Scientologists are using this tragedy to recruit new members. They are not providing mental health assistance.” (National Mental Health Association News Release, September 17, 2001)
  • TERRORIST ATTACKS /Asbestos: Targeted In Cleanup Effort … EPA’s Whitman: ‘No reason for concern’ (Newsday, September 16, 2001)
  • AFTER THE ATTACKS: THE CHEMICALS; Monitors Say Health Risk From Smoke Is Very Small … The persistent pall of smoke wafting from the remains of the World Trade Center poses a very small, and steadily diminishing, risk to the public, environmental officials and doctors said yesterday. There could be a slight health threat, they said, to city residents with weakened immune systems, heart disease or asthma, and to rescue workers who did not wear protective gear or who smoke. Smoking greatly amplifies the effects of some kinds of pollution, scientists said. But over all, the danger was no greater than that on a smoggy day, some officials said. Some government scientists, speaking only on the condition of anonymity, said they were concerned that city health officials had not done more to encourage those people who were caked in the dust as the disaster unfolded to avoid spreading it around once they were safe at home. But tests of air and the dust coating parts of Lower Manhattan appeared to support the official view expressed by city, state and federal health and environmental officials: that health problems from pollution would not be one of the legacies of the attacks. Tests of air samples taken downwind of the smoldering rubble on Tuesday and Wednesday — mainly in Brooklyn — disclosed no harmful levels of asbestos, lead or toxic organic compounds, officials of the federal Environmental Protection Agency said yesterday. Some samples of the dust that cloaked the disaster scene, victims and rescuers on Tuesday showed slightly elevated levels of lead and asbestos, the agency said. But by Wednesday, levels of the substances had dropped below the threshold of any concern, said Bonnie Bellow, a spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency. Tests on samples taken yesterday would not be completed until today, she said. … (NYTimes, by Andrew C. Revkin, September 14, 2001)
  • Asbestos Alert: How much of the chemical does the World Trade Center wreckage contain? .. Nearly four days after the World Trade Towers collapse sent massive columns of dust andsmoke over lower Manhattan and into the shifting winds around New York Harbor, there is still no clear picture of how much asbestos or other hazardous materials may have been set free into the environment, officials say. (Newsweek, September 14, 2001)
  • Cloud of acrid air haunts New Yorkers … Many concerned about potential health woes (MSNBC, By Francesca Lyman, Sept. 14, 2001)
  • Fouled Air? Health Officials Stress Caution, But Say Measured Levels Safe … A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman said Wednesday that EPA officials “really don’t detect any real danger” in air and dust tests. And New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani echoed the sentiments this morning.. (ABCNEWS.com, September 13, 2001)
  • What’s in that Smoky Cloud? Concerns about Air Quality … There are new concerns this evening about the particles in the dust and air at the disaster site… To prevent problems, stay indoors and use air conditioning to clean the air. if you have breathing problems, see a doctor. (7 Online/CBS, September 13, 2001)
  • NASA releases aerial images of attack site …. NASA released aerial images from a satellite and the international space station Alpha Wednesday that show the area affected by the attack on the World Trade Center. … (CNN, September 12, 2001)
  • Health Hazards: Attacks Pose Continued Danger … “People with respiratory disease, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma, should stay indoors,” advises Leikauf. (ABCNews, September 12, 2001)

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