The purpose of these administrative supplements is to develop an integrated education and training approach that will address worker safety and immediate and long-term health concerns. These funds will support training of a nationwide cadre of environmental response workers to respond to future terrorist attacks, along with the creation of a national registry of trained construction personnel for immediate response to terrorist activities.
NIEHS responded to the needs of the New York City residents immediately after the 9/11 attack. Its Worker Education and Training Program delivered 3,000 respirators to the site and provided expert support to coordinate occupational health issues during recovery and cleanup. NIEHS-supported researchers were on-site collecting environmental and air samples the day after the disaster.
Since then the Institute has funded a multi-faceted array of studies on the health consequences of the attacks. NIEHS grantees have identified the composition and structure of dust particles from the collapse of the buildings, and have determined particle size and the degree of penetration into the airways of those who were exposed. Researchers have also created a public data base that includes both pre- and post-September 11 air quality data - the web address is http://wtc.hs.columbia.edu.
Other NIEHS-funded researchers have conducted clinical and epidemiological studies to investigate respiratory abnormalities and post-traumatic stress syndrome in WTC-exposed populations such as firefighters, ironworkers and community residents.
Scientists have also identified the symptoms and duration of the "World Trade Center Cough," and determined that most dust particles from the attacks were small enough to penetrate into lung airways, producing caustic
Contact: Tom Hawkins
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences