World Trade Center (WTC) Health Studies and Information on Health Services
The attacks of September 11, 2001 exposed rescue and recovery workers and New York City residents to debris, dust, smoke and fumes. Many occupants of the WTC towers and nearby buildings were caught in clouds of dust and smoke. Many workers and volunteers, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics, operating engineers, laborers, ironworkers, telecommunications workers, National Guardsmen and New York State employees spent days to months working in contaminated environments. New York State Department of Health is actively involved in assessing health risks among individuals exposed to the smoke and debris from the World Trade Center. The Department is carrying out three sets of studies: one addresses residents of the area; another addresses the state employees who responded to the collapse and subsequent clean up; and the third study addresses fatalities that have occurred to responders after 9/11.
Several projects have been conducted to learn about the health effects of the WTC disaster on residents in lower Manhattan.
- New York State Personnel Who Responded
New York State employees and National Guard personnel who were directed to respond to the WTC disaster were offered the opportunity to undergo a medical monitoring evaluation and to participate in studies evaluating health effects.
- WTC Responder Fatality Investigations
The New York State Department of Health is the data collection center for information on deaths among WTC responders, recovery workers and volunteers.
- World Trade Center Environmental Health Center
The Center is located at Bellevue Hospital and is designed to expand medical and mental health treatment to New Yorkers affected by exposure to toxic dust and fumes at the WTC. The establishment of the new health center is part of a three-point initiative to strengthen New York City's response to emerging health issues related to the attack on 9/11. To ensure the broadest possible coverage, the new Center will serve any individuals who were exposed to WTC dust or fumes, including residents of Manhattan or Brooklyn, office workers, City employees, volunteers and individuals involved in debris removal and clean-up.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health - WTC Information
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) responded to address workers' needs in the aftermath of the attacks. NIOSH also funds programs to provide medical screening, monitoring, and treatment for responders who served at the WTC site. Links to information about the NIOSH response, and WTC health resources, can be found here.
- The World Trade Center Health Program
Provides free, confidential medical monitoring examinations to workers and volunteers who responded to the 9/11 attacks in New York City. Information for health care providers is also offered.
- Workers Compensation Board - Registration of Participation in WTC Rescue, Recovery and/or Clean-up Operations
On August 14, 2006, Governor Pataki announced a comprehensive plan designed to extend the time for employees and volunteers injured in the rescue, recovery and cleanup operations after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the WTC to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits and to receive prompt access to medical benefits while their claims are being litigated.
- New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health - WTC Information
Provides information on how to file for Workers' Compensation program, health services programs, mental health services, and financial assistance.
Residents and Responders:
- World Trade Center Health Registry
The WTC Health Registry is a comprehensive and confidential health survey of those most directly exposed to the events of 9/11. It will give health professionals a clear picture of the health consequences of 9/11. Provides resources for individuals with WTC exposures and Clinical Guidelines for the screening and treatment of adults.
- Lifenet (1-800-LIFENET)
Lifenet is a confidential, toll-free, help line operated by the Mental Health Association of New York City in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The hotline operates 24 hours a day/7 days a week and is staffed by trained mental health professionals who help callers find the most appropriate mental health and substance abuse services for their needs.
- New York State Occupational Health Clinic Network
The Occupational Health Clinic Network includes seven regionally based Clinics that provide objective diagnosis of suspected work-related medical problems, conducted medical screenings, make referrals for treatment to other medical specialists, and provide education and prevention programs.
Health Care Providers:
- New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene - Clinical Guidelines for Adults Exposed to the WTC Disaster
This publication suggests how clinicians can take a brief exposure history and describes common health problems that could be caused or exacerbated by exposure to the disaster. It offers algorithms to evaluate and care for exposed individuals, and provides brief tools to assess and treat physical and mental health disorders.