We attended a local 9-11 anniversary memorial, and I happened to hear a REALLY FABULOUS bagpiper perform. I can't seem to listen to Amazing Grace on bagpipes without shedding a few tears - must be allergies, right?!
It was the 15th anniversary and most of the news programs talked about stories of those who had passed away. Stories about dads who had kissed their kids goodbye - not knowing that the kids would never see their dad again. There were stories about others who had died - moms, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends. All who died too young.
And then there were stories about first responders that helped that day and were later diagnosed with asthma. Hubby looked at me after watching the news story and said, "You should blog about that." Great minds think alike.
It doesn't surprise me that people that helped in New York City developed asthma. There was such a think layer of dust. How could it NOT damage someone's lungs?
There's a story from ABC news, called 9-11 First Responders Plagued by Health Problems From Toxic Dust
A clip from the story says:
"It is thought that exposure to this dust through the lungs and skin has contributed to the asthma, gastrointestinal problems, and possibly the increased cancer risk experienced by rescue workers, especially those who were on the site immediately after the attack, when the cloud of debris dust was its thickest."
Another story from ABC News, "9/11 First Responders Battle Toxic Exposures 15 Years Later", says:
“They have chronic … asthma, chronic sinusitis, sometimes quite severe, sometimes interstitial lung disease [where the tissue can be scarred],” she said. “[Post-traumatic stress disorder] itself can be chronic disorder.”
There only bright side of this (if you want to call it that....) is that their care if completely covered under the World Trade Center Health Program. PBS NewsHour has an interesting video if you have time to watch it (it's 15 minutes.)
It's so sad that they didn't have the proper protection and equipment for working in the dust of the twin towers. And now they have life long problems. I think they did the best they could with what they had. It was an overwhelming disaster :(
For the rest of us "average Joes", did you know that there are things in our every day environment that can affect our asthma? CDC has a list Common Asthma Triggers
Check to see what you can do to protect your lungs.
I don't think we can ever thank the First Responders enough for what they have gone through.
I am so proud to be an American!