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A New York firefighter walks through the debris at Ground Zero where the twin towers used to stand Paul Faith/PA Archive/Press Association Images

9/11 firefighters have higher risk of contracting cancer

A new study by British medical journal The Lancet shows that firefighters who worked at ground zero following the terrorist attacks are more likely than others to contract cancer.

FIREFIGHTERS WHO WORKED in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in 2001 are more likely to develop cancer than people who were not there, a new study suggests.

The New York Times reports that the study was published yesterday in the British medical journal The Lancet and said firefighters were 19 per cent more likely to get cancer.

Almost 10,000 New York City firefighters were included in what was the largest study to date of cancer in firefighters who were present at the WTC on 11 September 2001.

The majority of those who participated – 8,927 men – were on the site for at least one day in the 10 months following the attack.

Of those, 263 contracted cancer, which works out at a cancer rate 19 per cent higher than the group not exposed, and 10 per cent higher than that of American men overall.

The cancers that occurred most frequently were melanoma, prostate cancer, thyroid cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was founded to compensate people with health problems because of the attacks – but it doesn’t cover cancer.

The Lancet also includes a study on medical care for workers exposed to the WTC disaster, and a look at Islam, medicine and Arab-Muslim refugee health in America after 9/11.

Read the full study on the Lancet website>

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