Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Research on Health Impacts of the September 11, 2001 Attacks

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My friend, Carey Maslow, the Deputy Director of Research at the World Trade Center Health Registry in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in New York City has a new article out with her colleagues on the long-term health impacts of the September 11, 2001 New York City attack.  Their study focuses on World Trade Center workers and residents.  You can get the article here.

They looked at hundreds of individuals who were exposed to smoke, dust, and other pollutants in Manhattan.  What they found is that individuals who were exposed are more likely to have lower respiratory problems years after the events.  In addition, those who remained in their damaged but livable homes after the attack were more likely to have problems than those whose homes needed to be vacated for repairs.

The research highlights some of the long-term effects of the pollution associated with the disaster.  But it is unclear how the nature of an individual's exposure influences health.  For example, those who cleaned their home may have had some immediate acute exposure, but reduced chronic exposure.  The differences in behavior immediately after the disaster may provide clues as to how better to address short-term exposure to extreme and rare pollution events.

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