Although planning and building of the Ground Zero memorial continues to move along at a snail's pace, city and federal health experts have wasted no time in publishing an 8-page guideline for coroners dealing with people who may have died from exposure to the disaster site. Coroners are now required to check for asbestos, metal, and pulverized glass in the deceased. The guidelines also lay the groundwork for a tissue bank that will allow medical examiners to revisit specimens years later to determine if a death was in fact related to exposures from 9/11. There is no coincidence in the timing of this report which was released only days after a Mount Sinai study, the most comprehensive of this kind, which closely examined the far-reaching health effects of the catastrophe site. The Post reports that the study found that almost 70% of over 9,400 Ground Zero workers had respiratory problems after their time there. This is in addition to the hundreds who have developed cancer, including brain tumors, since working at the site. In less physically-provable news, 40% of Ground Zero workers remain traumatized after the incident with many coming down with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Other health buzz:
+ NYU (as well as many a college) is less than fuzzy-wuzzy when confronted with student suicide.
+ As we mentioned yesterday, more New Yorkers with AIDS continue to die of non-AIDS related causes. This is actually good news, people!
+ As if you needed another reason to quit, smoking may increase your chance of contracting HIV.