A controversial decision by the World Trade Center Health Program to not cover the cancer treatment of 9/11 first responders has triggered an emotional conflict between the responders and the scientists behind a recent scientific review. On Tuesday, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health published a review finding there is "very little" evidencing linking cancer and the release of toxins in the air when the World Trade Center collapsed, which led to the fund's decision to withhold compensation. As a result, first responders and their supporters are clashing with the review process. Here's who's speaking out:
John Feal The founder of the Feal Good Foundation who developed serious respiratory problems after 9/11 went on CNN today opposing the review. "I don't need someone with 12 years of college to tell me there's no evidence... The people that have passed away is enough proof already. We've had ten years of people getting sicker and dying. I don't need scientific research. The numbers are staggering. It's alarming and they know that. Dr. Howard knows that."
Dr. John Howard The director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health told the New York Times that "there was very little evidence to go on, as there have only been 18 published research studies on the attack that even mentioned cancer, and only five of those were peer-reviewed." In the report, the scientists warned that “Drawing causal inferences about exposures resulting from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the observation of cancer cases in responders and survivors is especially challenging since cancer is not a rare disease."