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Report Summarizes Health Effects of 9/11

May 4, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center caused ``the largest acute environmental disaster that ever has befallen New York City″ and could lead to long-term health problems in rescue workers and city residents, according to a new report.

The report _ an overview of work by six research centers that have studied health effects of the attacks _ found that dust from ground zero had caused a rise in cases of asthma and severe cough, particularly among firefighters and other rescue workers. In one study of 183 cleanup workers, 33 percent were found to have new-onset cough, 18 percent had a wheeze and 24 percent experienced phlegm production, the report said.

Asbestos in the dust had led to increased risk of mesothelioma, a type of cancer, according to the report, published in the May issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Risk of illness was lower among office workers and residents in lower Manhattan than in ground zero workers, the report said.

The report said the long-term effects of the attacks would become clear only with time and further study.

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On the Net: http://ehis.niehs.nih.gov/

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