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Rep. Towns to Hold Hearing on 9/11 Health Effects 2/28

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:51 pm    Post subject: Rep. Towns to Hold Hearing on 9/11 Health Effects 2/28
From Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:00 am to Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:59 am (included)
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Contact: Denise Mixon
February 27, 2007 (202) 226-4045

Rep. Towns to Hold Hearing on 9/11 Health Effects

Washington, DC - Congressman Edolphus Towns, 10th District New York and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization and Procurement, will hold an oversight hearing on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 12 Noon, in 2247 of the Rayburn House Office Building, on the Health Effects to residents and first responders in the aftermath of 9/11.

Following the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center, a wide variety of physical and mental health effects have been reported. Primary health effects include various injuries, respiratory conditions and mental health effects. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, most residents and first responders complained of inhalation injuries including wheezing, shortness of breath, sinusitis, asthma and a new syndrome called WTC cough. WTC cough consists of a persistent cough accompanied by severe respiratory symptoms.

"Since the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, many New Yorkers have become ill due to dust from the rubble and other building materials at the World Trade Center site. These are our first responders who risked their lives to assist others without a second thought when this massive disaster occurred," said Congressman Towns.

Among the witnesses for Wednesday's hearing are:

Dr. John Agwunobi, the Assistant Secretary of Health and Chair of the HHS 9/11 Task force;

Linda Gibbs, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, City of New York;

Edward Skyler, Deputy Mayor for Administration, City of New York;

Marvin Bethea, Paramedic and 9/11 first responder, New York City;

John Sferazo, Ironworker and 9/11 responder, New York City.

This hearing will continue to the Committee's oversight of the federal response to the health impacts of the 9/11 attacks and the federally funded programs that medically monitor and treat individuals who were exposed to the toxins of "ground zero" following the attack on the World Trade Center.

Six programs were established to monitor and understand the health effects of the attack, and these programs vary in terms of which people are eligible to participate, methods for collecting information about the health effects, options for treatment referral and the number of years people will be monitored. Although five of the programs focus on various responder populations, the largest program, the WTC Health Registry, is open to both responders and surrounding residents and workers. Under the current plans, HHS funding for the programs will not extend beyond 2009.
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