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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.