Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

10 November 2017

Cancer Cluster at Top NYC School Near Ground Zero, Grad Says

It was later established that the Twin Tower ruins contained over 2,500 contaminants, including:
(See our post: "Dust to Dust - the Health Effects of 9/11".)

- Over 400 tons of asbestos
- 90,000 liters of jet fuel containing benzene
- Mercury from over half a million fluorescent lights
- 200,000 pounds of lead and cadmium from personal computers
- Up to 2 million pounds of PAH from diesel-fueled fires
- 130,000 gallons of transformer oil containing PCBs
- Crystalline silica from 420,000 tons of concrete, sheetrock and glass

by Carl Campanilenypost.com, 9 November 2017

Firefighters and other first-responders who worked at Ground Zero aren’t the only ones suffering 16 years later from exposure to toxic debris.

UIG via Getty Images
Local school kids who are now young adults have come forward, revealing they’ve battled cancers and lung diseases covered by the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Michele Lent Hirsch, 32, was a senior at Stuyvesant HS, on Chambers Street, just a couple blocks from Ground Zero, when she saw the first tower fall from a classroom window.

In 2010, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, one of 68 cancers eligible for health coverage through the VCF.

Hirsch was only 25 when she was diagnosed.

“Cancer is so terrifying to deal with when you’re a young person,” she told The Post.
“They sent us back to a school that was not safe. We were exposed to toxins that were physically harmful. You don’t send students back to a toxic school before it’s safe.”

Stuyvesant was used as a staging area by rescue and recovery workers after 9/11. The elite public high school reopened a month later, on Oct. 9, amid heated debate about whether the building was free of contaminants.

One veteran teacher stayed away from the school, telling The Post at the time that dust-filled air in the building was making him sick.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said lawyer Michael Barasch, who represents 12 graduates of schools near Ground Zero, half of whom attended Stuyvesant, with cancer or lung disease.

“I’m sure there are others who are not aware of it.”

The problem first came to light five years after 9/11, when many Stuy students joined a petition calling for a government-sponsored study, screening and health care for kids who attended the school in the year after the terror strikes.

Since then, it’s been a growing concern, as more students get diagnosed with serious illnesses.

“We are now seeing what doctors are not surprised at all is basically a cancer cluster,” Barasch said.

“A 28-year-old girl should have not breast cancer. A 29-year-old boy should not have colon cancer or bladder cancer. And we also represent at this point almost a dozen teachers.”

Hirsch said she’s speaking out to let people know they’re eligible for government-funded health care to treat what are considered 9/11-related illnesses.

She did not know during her bout with thyroid cancer that she was eligible for government-funded health treatment.

“It was kind of shocking to find out that other people have cancer,” she said.

“A lot of people assumed that young people would be fine. I was only 16 when 9/11 happened.”


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