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Maloney Statement on 9/11 Health Hearing

 
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:22 pm    Post subject: Maloney Statement on 9/11 Health Hearing
From Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:00 am to Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:59 am (included)
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For Immediate Release: April 22, 2009

Contact: Joe Soldevere, (646) 831-1649



Maloney Statement on Today's 9/11 Health Hearing



WASHINGTON-- Rep. Carolyn Maloney offered the following statement about today's hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009. This legislation would address the health crisis caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by providing medical monitoring and treatment for those exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, and by providing compensation for economic losses due to illnesses or injuries caused by the attacks.



“Chairman Pallone, Ranking Member Deal, members of the Health Subcommittee, I want to thank you for inviting me to testify here today on H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which I introduced with Representatives Nadler, Peter King and McMahon, with the support of the entire New York delegation. I also want to thank Chairman Waxman, Ranking Member Barton and the Committee for tackling the important issue of health care for World Trade Center responders and community members, and I am always grateful to Speaker Pelosi for the strong support that she has shown for caring for the heroes of 9/11.



“On September 11, 2001, thousands of people tragically lost their lives. Over seven years later, we know that thousands more have lost their health.



“Within hours of the collapse of the World Trade Center, firefighters, police officers and EMTs labored alongside construction workers, volunteers, and others without regard for their own health or safety. All were told the “air was safe to breathe.”



“Unfortunately, we now know better. The cloud they worked in was a poisonous cocktail of thousands of tons of coarse and fine particulate matter, pulverized cement and glass, asbestos, lead, and other toxic pollutants. To the mix were added 24,000 gallons of burning jet fuel and plastics which created a dense plume of black smoke containing a specific combination of toxins probably never seen before and that hopefully we will never see again.



“And all of this went into the mouths, throats, and lungs of tens of thousands of first responders. In addition, thousands of residents, area workers and schoolchildren breathed in the very same toxic air.



“Although most of these people live in the New York/New Jersey area, at least 10,000 people came from across the country to help in the aftermath of the attacks. They hail from every state in the union and nearly every Congressional district.



“Now, over seven years later, we are seeing the potentially deadly effects of those toxins. There are numerous peer-reviewed, scientific studies showing that the exposures at Ground Zero are causing people to become very ill. Their illnesses include respiratory and gastrointestinal conditions such as asthma, interstitial lung disease, chronic cough and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), and mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.



“H.R. 847 helps the sick by proving medical monitoring and treatment to WTC responders and community members who were exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero. To do this, it builds on the existing monitoring and treatment program by delivering expert medical care for these unique exposures at Centers of Excellence. The bill also provides compensation for those who suffered economic losses by reopening the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.



“The solutions provided in H.R. 847 are neither easy nor inexpensive, but they are part of our country's moral obligation, as the wealthiest nation in the world, to care for those who respond to an act of war. We must take care of the people who took care of us in the days and weeks after 9/11. It is the least we can do as a grateful nation. Thank you.”



Facts on 9/11 Health Issues and H.R. 847:



--Thousands of first responders and others exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero are now sick and need our help. These include New York firefighters, EMTs and police, construction workers, clean-up workers, residents, area workers, and schoolchildren, among others.



--Although most of these people live in the New York/New Jersey area, at least 10,000 people came from around the country to help in the aftermath of the attacks. They hail from all 50 states and nearly every congressional district. Many are sick and others are very concerned about their health. (Please click here for a map of Registry enrollments nationwide and in each congressional district.)



--Illnesses include respiratory and gastrointestinal system conditions such as asthma, interstitial lung disease, chronic cough and gastroesophageal reflux disease, and mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.



--More than 400,000 people are believed to have been exposed to toxins from the World Trade Center site.



--Nearly 16,000 responders and at least 2,700 community members are currently sick and receiving treatment. More than 40,000 responders are currently in medical monitoring. 71,000 individuals are enrolled in the WTC Health Registry.



--Those who suffered economic losses as a result of their WTC-related illnesses need and deserve compensation, but have no alternative to the current litigation system.



--The WTC contractors and the City of New York are being sued by over 10,000 people who are sick because of Ground Zero toxins. They face great financial losses because they were asked to help at Ground Zero in the country’s time of need.



H.R. 847 Would Address the 9/11 Health Crisis by:



--Providing medical monitoring and treatment to WTC responders and community members (area workers, residents, students and others) who were exposed to toxins released at Ground Zero.



--Building on the existing monitoring and treatment program by delivering expert medical treatment for these unique exposures at Centers of Excellence.



--Providing for research into WTC-related health conditions.



--Reopening the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide compensation for economic losses and harm as an alternative to the current litigation system.



--Providing liability protections for the WTC contractors and the City of New York.







Joe Soldevere

Press Secretary

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

(212) 860-0606 office

(646) 831-1649 cell

maloney.house.gov
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