City Will Begin Releasing NYPD's 9/11 Health Data Following Demands

By Julie Shapiro on February 15, 2012 2:05pm 

First responders battle clouds of dust and smoke at Ground Zero in October 2001. The city will soon release data about the police officers who helped with the recovery and cleanup operations.
First responders battle clouds of dust and smoke at Ground Zero in October 2001. The city will soon release data about the police officers who helped with the recovery and cleanup operations.
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AP Photo/Stan Honda

LOWER MANHATTAN — The city has agreed to start releasing information about police officers who got cancer after working at Ground Zero, following demands from 9/11 health advocates.

City officials agreed Wednesday to begin sharing information with Mount Sinai Medical Center, which is studying the connection between Ground Zero toxins and cancer.

The city will soon give Mount Sinai a list of all the NYPD members who helped with the recovery and cleanup efforts after the World Trade Center collapse — but it will take a little longer for the city to release the list of those who later got cancer or other illnesses, said Cas Holloway, deputy mayor for operations.

"Since federal and state laws prevent us from disclosing the names of those who have reported that they have cancer or other conditions without their permission, we are developing a process to ask all of those individuals if they will authorize the release of their names," Holloway said in a statement.

"We are committed to working with Mt. Sinai to share this information as quickly as possible."

The city's decision came after an outcry from local officials and 9/11 responder groups who said the city was sitting on data that could be extremely valuable to scientific research.

Based on existing research, the federal government does not currently consider cancer a 9/11-related illness, which means that first responders who have cancer do not receive any compensation for their treatment under the  James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

But new studies continue to be published, and an expert 9/11 medical panel is meeting Wednesday and Thursday to weigh the latest research. The panel will issue a recommendation in March about whether the Zadroga Act ought to begin covering cancer.

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