Monday, September 11, 2006

The 9/11 Death Toll Is Still Rising

World Trade Center Illness, sickness that comes from exposure to the toxic material from the WTC, is real.

Though the government turned off the death toll clock shortly after 9/11, many people are sick and dying from exposure to the toxic material from WTC 1, 2 and 7. The names of the people who are dying from WTC Illness over the next 10 years should be added to the annually read list of victims of 9/11. As I noted in an earlier post, not just the first responders are dying.

Remember the initial estimates that said 25,000 to 30,000 folks killed on 9/11. By the time World Trade Center Illness runs its course, initial death toll numbers could be accurate. I say that because the City reports that hundreds of thousands of people were exposed.

Despite what the government is saying, the toxic dust from the WTC did not stay in Lower Manhattan. The wind carried it much further than New York City. The EPA didn’t start testing for toxic material until September 14th, giving the dust 3 days to settle down.

The toxic soup that made up the dust from the WTC contained transformer oil contaminated with PCB's, polyvinyl, chloride, copper, furans, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, dioxins, asbestos, mercury from the computers and lights, thousands of gallons of jet fuel, and what the National Resources Defense Council - NRDC defined as “small hazardous waste generating entities.” Add to that an estimated 50,000 personal computers with four pounds of lead each, pulverized, and that is 200,000 pounds of lead released into the atmosphere."

It's way past time to tell the truth about the government's decision to put New York on lock down before World Trade Center 1, 2 & 7 were exploded. I write exploded because there was thermite found in the dust and all three structures were pulverized, not fallen or burned. As was the case in New Orleans during Katrina, the word "explosions" was frequently used by people who were present at the events.

From the EPA report that they said could not be quoted (so I removed the quotes): National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, October, 2002’s report; Exposure and Human Health Evaluation of Airborne Pollution from the World Trade Center Disaster.

The analysis in this report supports three general findings: 1) Persons exposed to the extremely high levels of ambient particulate matter and its components during the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and for several hours afterwards were likely to be at risk for immediate acute (and possibly chronic) respiratory and other types (e.g., cardiovascular) of symptoms. 2) The first measurements of some of the contaminants were on September 14, while other contaminants were not measured until September 23. Available data suggest that the concentrations within and near Ground Zero were likely to be highest in the few days following September 11. Because there are only limited data on these critical few days, exposures and potential health impacts cannot be evaluated with certainty for this time period. 3) Except for exposures on September 11 and possibly during the next few days, persons in the surrounding community were unlikely to suffer short-term or long-term adverse health effects caused by exposure to elevations in ambient air concentrations of the contaminants evaluated in this report.

These elevated concentrations were measured mostly within and near Ground Zero, and they lasted for one to three months after September 11. The monitoring data indicate that air concentrations decreased to background levels that are characteristic of pre-September 11 levels in the New York City metropolitan area by around January or February of 2002.

Ultimately, it will be difficult to ascertain with certainty what effects resulted when people were surrounded by initial clouds of dust, or were subsequently exposed to the elevated concentrations that are discussed in this report. Epidemiologic studies of the exposed populations that are being conducted by various agencies and institutions should provide a more scientifically robust evaluation for future evaluations of health effects.

George W. Alapas
Acting Director
National Center for Environmental Assessment
DRAFT--DO NOT QUOTE OR CITE x October 2002

Rather than DO NOT QUOTE OR CITE, they should have been screaming the above words and evacuated the area.

It is not just the first responders who are suffering and dying. Living, working, visiting for a spell folks were also exposed, many chronically. Common sense says the wind would carry the dust to many places.

Was there any testing done to see if asbestos and other toxic material traveled beyond Lower Manhattan?

Given the dynamics of insurance, do those exposed have health options if they are among the 40 million or so uninsured in America?

Is the medical community ready to deal with folks exposed to the toxic dust?

Chronic exposure to toxic material can cause squamous cell cancer and other medical conditions. It takes 5-15 years to manifest and the reports of people dying are flooding in. There are many ways the problem of World Trade Center Illness is manifesting affecting respiratory, digestive and blood systems.

People ate, drank and breathed the dust which also included pulverized glass. This material can cause a whole host of medical problems, including death.

There is no shortage of medical literature regarding the results of exposure to toxic material. Yet, the government chose the strategy of study rather than inform folks how to take a pro-active role in protecting their health like get out of the area, hydrotherapy with distilled drinking water to help clean out the toxins and medical hemp to reduce stress, a major killer.

The incompetence, if not flat out cruelty of not providing respirators to the people in the area is criminal. Even when the President of the United States came and did his bullhorn speech, he didn’t share with the people on the pile the dangers in the dust, nor the importance of wearing respirators. Bush should have ordered the City evacuated, instead, the White House told the EPA to alter the reports. They didn’t even start testing for toxic material until the 14th.

After 5 years of "studying" the problem, in August, 2006, the City of New York released guidelines to the medical community for how to deal with WTC Illness. The report is from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene titled CLINICAL GUIDELINES FOR ADULTS EXPOSED TO THE WORLD TRADE CENTER DISASTER.

While the EPA and the City of New York are bantering blame about who was responsible for letting people be chronically exposed to a multitude of toxic substances, the result is no less devastating.

The guidelines, whose published section does not include footnotes, paints a grim picture:

Page 47:

"The World Trade Center (WTC) terrorist attack and its aftermath exposed hundreds of thousands of people to debris, dust, smoke, and fumes. Studies conducted after September 11, 2001, among rescue and clean-up workers, 1-4 office workers, 5 building evacuees,6 and residents of lower Manhattan 7-9 showed an increase in respiratory and other physical and mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Many New Yorkers have health problems that could be associated with – or made worse by – exposure to the attack and its aftermath. Primary care physicians need to know how to identify, evaluate, treat, and if necessary, refer these individuals to expert care."

Page 48

"EXPOSURES AND POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS

Physical Exposures

The collapse and burning of the WTC and neighboring buildings released a complex mixture of irritant dust, smoke, and gaseous materials. Pulverized concrete, glass, plastic, paper, and wood produced alkaline dust. The dust cloud also contained heavy metals, as well as asbestos and other substances that may be carcinogenic. In addition, smoke released from the persistent fires in the months that followed also contained hazardous and potentially carcinogenic substances.

Environmental test results showed that the composition of dust and smoke released into the air and deposited on indoor and outdoor surfaces varied by date and location.10 Individual exposure to contaminants was determined by duration, site, activities, and use of appropriate protective equipment. Health effects related to these exposures may also vary, depending on the intensity and duration of exposure as well as on underlying medical conditions, tobacco use, and individual susceptibility.

Although heavy metals were detected in the air and dust, clinical tests performed on specimens from more than 10,000 firefighters showed no clinically significant concentrations of mercury, lead, or beryllium.11 Heavy metals are usually cleared from the blood and urine within months of exposure."

Page 49:

Table 2. Potentially WTC-Associated Conditions

Inhalation or ingestion of WTC dust and fumes affected the mucous membranes of the nose, sinuses, pharynx, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and respiratory tract.
The symptoms and signs of these conditions include:
• Sinus, nasal, and postnasal congestion
• Heartburn, hoarseness, and throat irritation
• Shortness of breath and wheezing
• Chronic cough

Some clinicians have described a syndrome consisting of a triad that is typified by:
• Upper airway cough syndrome (postnasal drip syndrome)
• Asthma/reactive airways dysfunction syndrome(RADS)
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)/laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD)

Page 51:

"Other Possibly Associated Pulmonary Conditions
Consult a WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Center (Resources) for further information about these and other medical problems currently under evaluation:
• Interstitial lung diseases
• Chronic bronchitis/non-asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis
• Rare reports of pulmonary eosinophilic infiltrates,26 granulomatous pneumonitis,27 and bronchiolitis obliterans28
• Other lung diseases

Patients may also present with other as yet unexplained conditions that require additional diagnostic evaluation. Although the dust cloud contained heavy metals, there is no recognized need to perform blood or urine testing for heavy metals in the absence of specific indicative symptoms."

The guidelines are basically a shopping list for drugs that they disclaim in size 8 type, i.e.: "Use of brand names is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene."

These 'guidelines' fall far short of what needs to be done now. They speak of managing symptoms rather than how to heal.

Here's my short list of what needs to be done now.

1. Demand unconditional screening and health care for all affected plus disability pay to cover living expenses. Many have lost their jobs over the last five years, are sick and without insurance. (#3 is how to pay for it).

2. Empower folks to use meditation, work with their Healer Within, hydrotherapy and/or medical hemp (marijuana) to manage and heal if possible. The only good news I found is the guidelines is that in the post 9/11 era, marijuana use is up. Since the problem is toxic material in one's body, cleaning out as much as possible (hydrotherapy - for drinking consider distilled water) and reducing stress (meditation, Healer Within and medical hemp) is beneficial. It's going to take a miracle to turn this situation around.

3. Legalize hemp, tax it at 20% to raise revenue to pay for the health care and other social problems. Since the hemp plant scrubs the air when growing, it can be an effective tool for helping folks by reducing pollutants in the air. It’s time Hemp the City.

4. Bring to justice those responsible for altering the EPA report that told people that the air was safe to breathe and the water safe to drink. It was not safe. The news a year ago said it was the White House that altered the reports.

The city was put on lock down before the buildings were exploded, with a military compliment.
People are dying as a result of both the City of New York and the U.S. government’s failed policy of lie and hope it gets better.

Demand to see the original, unaltered 9/11 air quality report from the EPA and other sources like the sewer air monitors at North River, Newton Creek, Red Hook, Owls Head and Port Richmond. They are suppose to be testing the air because the sewers are uncovered and in case someone throws something toxic into the sewers, we need to know.

5. Establish evacuation procedures that everyone knows about in the event of another emergency situation like the Christmas Tsunami of '04 or Katrina.

6. Work with and demand action from your elected and appointed officials. Even though the elections are rigged so that it's almost impossible to vote them out, there is still room to make them do the right thing and change the law to provide for WTC victims.

7. PRAY! if so inclined. I am. From what I've read, traditional medicine does not have a clue nor the resources to deal with what's going down. We have many healers, like Niro Markoff who, by working with her Healer Within, moved from HIV/Positive with ARC to 20 years later she is alive and still doing well. Or Louise Hay, who healed herself of cancer. Dr. Bernie Segal, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dwyer and other healers who work with mind and Spirt to heal the body should be brought to the front of the conversation about "How To Heal World Trade Center Illness?"

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