The proposed federal legislation presently named for deceased NYC police detective James Zadroga will ultimately make it more difficult, and in many cases impossible, for World Trade Center (WTC) responders to receive treatment for illnesses resulting from exposure at the site, PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said today.
The bill, which will be the subject of congressional hearings before the Energy and Commerce committee tomorrow (Wednesday, April 22nd) in Washington, erects a burden of proof for sick workers with recognized WTC illnesses that is nearly impossible to satisfy. The bill, on the other hand, provides for assistance for carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive stress injury more associated with typing than rescue work while failing to include assistance for cancers, loss of organs, blood disorders and skin diseases resulting from exposure to workers at the WTC site. Additionally, the bill will cover “issues such as marital and parental problems which are secondary to another identified WTC health condition” but makes no mention of any form of cancer at all.
PBA president Patrick J. Lynch, who has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure that government honors its obligation to those workers made sick by exposures at the WTC said:
“It is entirely likely that healthy members of the NYPD who became ill and have since died of cancers and blood disorders contracted from working at the WTC site would have been excluded from coverage under this federal bill. It appears that this bill has been devised to funnel funds to medical issues having a remote relationship to the WTC while literally ignoring those who put their lives on the line by physically working at the various WTC locations during the response, clean up and recovery. This bill as presently written is an effort to evade responsibility for the most serious medical consequences of 9/11 and is an insult to all WTC responders.”