World Trade Center Disaster: Assessment of Responder Occupations, Work Locations, and Job Tasks

Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts 01854, USA.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.74). 09/2011; 54(9):681-95. DOI: 10.1002/ajim.20997
Source: PubMed


To date there have been no comprehensive reports of the work performedby 9/11 World Trade Center responders.
18,969 responders enrolled in the WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program were used to describe workers’ pre-9/11 occupations, WTC work activities and locations from September 11, 2001 to June 2002.
The most common pre-9/11 occupation was protective services (47%); other common occupations included construction, telecommunications, transportation, and support services workers. 14% served as volunteers. Almost one-half began work on 9/11 and >80% reported working on or adjacent to the ‘‘pile’’ at Ground Zero. Initially,the most common activity was search and rescue but subsequently, the activities of most responders related to their pre-9/11 occupations. Other major activities included security; personnel support; buildings and grounds cleaning; and telecommunications repair.
The spatial, temporal, occupational, and task-related taxonomy reported here will aid the development of a job-exposure matrix, assist in assessment of disease risk, and improve planning and training for responders in future urban disasters.

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Available from: Msph Alice Freund Cih, Dec 15, 2014
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    • "Protective Services (e.g., law enforcement and emergency medical services workers); Construction; Buildings and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance and Electrical, Telecommunications and Other Installation and Repair Groups (CM & IRG); and All Other Occupations (Woskie et al. 2011 "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers were exposed to a complex mix of pollutants and carcinogens. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate cancer incidence in responders during the first seven years after September 11, 2001. Methods: Cancers among 20,984 consented participants in the WTC Health Program were identified through linkage to state tumor registries in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated to compare cancers diagnosed in responders to predicted numbers for the general population. Multivariate regression models were used to estimate associations with degree of exposure. Results: A total of 575 cancers were diagnosed in 552 individuals. Increases over registry-based expectations were noted for all cancer sites combined (SIR 1.15; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.25), thyroid cancer (SIR 2.39; 95% CI: 1.70, 3.27), prostate cancer (SIR 1.21; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.44), combined hematopoietic and lymphoid cancers (SIR 1.36; 95% CI: 1.07, 1.71) and soft tissue cancers (SIR 2.26; 95% CI: 1.13, 4.05). When restricted to 302 cancers diagnosed six or more months after enrollment, the SIR for all cancers decreased to 1.06 (95% CI: 0.94, 1.18), but thyroid and prostate cancer diagnoses remained greater than expected. All cancers combined were increased in very highly exposed responders and among those exposed to significant amounts of dust compared with responders who reported lower levels of exposure. Conclusion: Estimates should be interpreted with caution given the short follow-up and long latency period for most cancers, the intensive medical surveillance of this cohort, and the small numbers of cancers at specific sites. However, our findings highlight the need for continued follow up and surveillance of WTC responders.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 04/2013; Advance pubblication. DOI:10.1289/ehp.1205894 · 7.98 Impact Factor