Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. In 2007, Congress passed the Zadroga Act which provides health monitoring and financial aid to the first responders, volunteers and survivors of the attacks. Why? Because in the years after the attacks, it was determined that the people who worked at Ground Zero in the search/recovery and rebuild efforts were exposed to carcinogens and other toxic compounds that were causing illness and death at a frightening rate.
Named for NYC Police Officer James Zadroga who died in 2006 of respiratory disease caused from breathing in the smoke and fumes during rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero, the Zadroga Act provided funding for physical and mental health coverage for qualifying individuals through 2015. In 2015, the Act was extended to allow 75 years of benefits for first responders and other qualifying people to cover the mental and physical health fall out of their exposure in the days following the tragedies.
What you may not know is that due to changes in budgets in Washington, the Zadroga Act may be in jeopardy even though benefits were supposed to be guaranteed for many years yet. Please click on the links below to learn more about the Zadroga Act and if you are so moved, let your representatives in Congress know it is important to continue to provide support for the people who tried so hard to make a difference in the midst of the tragedy of that bright September morning 17 years ago.