Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, is expected to soon issue a final rule on which cancers will be covered under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, according to an article in Newsday.
The Zadroga law, enacted January 2011, sets aside $2.8 billion to compensate people made ill by exposure to toxins at the site of the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks. And an additional $1.5 billion has been allocated over five years to fund the World Trade Center Health Program, which treats and monitors about 40,000 first responders.
Howard issued a proposed rule in June, which would expand the list of illnesses associated with Ground Zero exposure to include about 50 cancers, including mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer affecting the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body called the mesothelium, and is caused primarily by exposure to asbestos.
Newsday quotes Sean Riordan, general counsel for first-responders’ advocacy group the FealGood Foundation as saying that “all the cancers look good for addition, but nothing is final until NIOSH says it’s final.”
About 300 first responders have submitted eligibility forms, which are now being reviewed, to a special master of the fund. That initial group of first responders is seeking compensation for diseases other than cancer now covered under the law.
The report quotes Allison Price, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice, as saying: “We expect more people to file as the fund progresses — it is hard to speculate, but thousands of additional claimants will most likely apply.”
If you or a loved one have contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, contact Lopez McHugh for a free consultation.
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