September 1st - September 7th, 2006
New Treatment Guidelines for 9/11 Illnesses
Friday, September 1st: The New York Health Department issued guidelines for doctors instructing them how to detect and treat 9/11 illnesses, the Associated Press reported. In the past, the agency has offered instructions for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and mental illness related to 9/11, but not guidelines to identify and treat such ailments as respiratory problems, the AP continued.
"Five years after the World Trade Center attacks, many New Yorkers have disaster-associated physical and mental health conditions," New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden told the AP. He calls the guidelines "an important document to help doctors better recognize and treat these illnesses." For Ground Zero workers who do not have access to New York-based medical programs, the guidelines are considered crucial, the AP reported. The wire service added that more than 600 workers in 34 states have received medical screening for their exposure to Ground Zero dust.
The guidelines specify what questions to ask, what tests to administer, and various treat procedures for 9/11 patients, the AP continued. According to the newswire, the guidelines also include a strict warning about tobacco use, stating, "The risk and severity of many WTC-related diseases are heightened by tobacco use. Exposure to secondhand smoke may also exacerbate WTC-related diseases. All WTC-exposed people and their family members who use tobacco should be advised to quit, and all who attempt to quit should be provided with medications to help them quit."
President Bush to Visit Ground Zero
Saturday, September 2nd: President George Bush will visit Ground Zero on the eve of September 11th to lay a wreath to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the New York Times reported. After the wreath-laying ceremony, the president and first lady plan to attend a prayer service at St. Paul's Chapel, the Times continued. After spending the night in New York, they will travel to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and then to the Pentagon the paper added.
Silverstein Requires Environmentally Friendly Trucks
Wednesday, September 6th: The use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in all construction vehicles and equipment will be mandated for all World Trade Center projects developed by Silverstein Properties, developer Larry Silverstein, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin announced. The requirement is part of a "Clean Air for Our Community" program, which promises to reduce sulfur, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen emissions from on-site equipment by up to 90 percent.
"Since we embarked on the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, we have pledged to work with this community to safeguard the health of the people who live, work, visit, and go to school downtown," Silverstein said in a statement. "Working hand in hand with Community Board 1, we will help mitigate environmental problems such as smog, acid rain, and water pollution."
Silver lauded the program. "The commitment to use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel to power the vehicles that will help rebuild the World Trade Center site is a major victory for the residents, workers, businesses, and visitors of Lower Manhattan," he said in a statement. "It builds on legislation I passed into law in 2004 requiring this fuel be used in all off-road construction vehicles employed in this massive rebuilding project," he continued.
Tribute Center Opens Across From World Trade Center Site
Wednesday, September 6th: Elected officials gathered next to the World Trade Center site for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to herald the opening of the Tribute WTC Visitors' Center. Jennifer Adams, CEO of the September 11th Families Association, proposed the location for the center. Construction began on the site in November 2005 and was completed last week. The center will open to the public on September 18th. For more on this story, click here.
Largest Ever Study of 9/11 Health Effects Released
Wednesday, September 6th: A study of 9,500 first responders and recovery workers at Ground Zero has revealed that seven out of 10 suffer from chronic respiratory illness that could be lifelong, the New York Times and Newsday reported.
The study, which was released by doctors at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and will be published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, provides evidence supporting a link between dust from the trade center and the illnesses that recovery workers have reported, according to the papers, and is expected to increase pressure on the federal government to provide health care for sick workers who do not have health insurance, the Times added.
"There should no longer be any doubt about the health effects of the World Trade Center," Dr. Robin Herbert, co-director of the World Trade Center and Volunteer Medical Screening Program at Mount Sinai, told the Times. "Our patients are sick, and they will need ongoing care for the rest of their lives," he continued.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg questioned the conclusive of the study, according to the Times, saying that statistics could suggest a connection but not prove a direct link. "I don't believe that you can say specifically a particular problem came from this particular event," he told the Times. Bloomberg did announce that the city plans to open a World Trade Center clinic at Bellevue Hospital to provide treatment to uninsured workers who believe their illnesses stemmed from work at Ground Zero, Newsday reported.
Designs Unveiled for WTC Towers 2, 3, and 4
Thursday, September 7th: The master plan to redevelop the World Trade Center (WTC)'s main 16 acres was completed as developer Silverstein Properties unveiled designs for towers two, three, and four. Speaking from the top floor of 7 World Trade Center, Larry Silverstein stood with Governor George Pataki to introduce the trio of slim, iconic towers that fill out the WTC's east side. To read the full story, please click here.
World Trade Center Will Be Green
Thursday, September 7th: The buildings that will rise as part of redevelopment of the World Trade Center site will incorporate a new package of energy and environmental measures that call for the use of state-of-the-art technology and renewable energy resources and enhanced energy efficiency, Governor George Pataki announced. To read the full story, please click here.