Characteristics of a Residential and Working Community With Diverse Exposure to World Trade Center Dust, Gas, and Fumes

Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10011, USA.
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.63). 05/2009; 51(5):534-41. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181a0365b
Source: PubMed


To describe physical symptoms in those local residents, local workers, and cleanup workers who were enrolled in a treatment program and had reported symptoms and exposure to the dust, gas, and fumes released with the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001.
Symptomatic individuals underwent standardized evaluation and subsequent treatment.
One thousand eight hundred ninety-eight individuals participated in the WTC Environmental Health Center between September 2005 and May 2008. Upper and lower respiratory symptoms that began after September 11, 2001 and persisted at the time of examination were common in each exposure population. Many (31%) had spirometry measurements below the lower limit of normal.
Residents and local workers as well as those with work-associated exposure to WTC dust have new and persistent respiratory symptoms with lung function abnormalities 5 or more years after the WTC destruction.

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Available from: Roberta M Goldring
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    • "During more than a decade after the 9/11 event, a number of studies from the three centers [1]–[13] and from other WTC research programs [14],[15] investigated a range of physical and mental health conditions among both responders and civilians. Among the mental health conditions, probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), measured with check-lists tailored to the event, stands out as one of the major syndromes that appears to have endured over the decade following the disaster [16],[17]. "
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    • "This acute, intense dust exposure has resulted in a remarkable increase in symptoms characterized by cough, wheeze, chest tightness, gastroesophageal reflux, and so forth in firefighters, rescue workers, and clean-up workers. Residents who returned to their apartments and cleaned up the dust have also been affected [23]. Asthma has been found to have been worsened, and there is an increase in newly diagnosed asthma. "
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    ABSTRACT: We report a sentinel case of acute eosinophilic pneumonia in a firefighter exposed to high concentrations of World Trade Center dust during the rescue effort from September 11 to 24. The firefighter presented with a Pa(O2) of 53 mm Hg and responded to oxygen and corticosteroids. Computed tomography scan showed patchy ground glass density, thickened bronchial walls, and bilateral pleural effusions. Bronchoalveolar lavage recovered 70% eosinophils, with only 1% eosinophils in peripheral blood. Eosinophils were not degranulated and increased levels of interleukin-5 were measured in bronchoalveolar lavage and serum. Mineralogic analysis counted 305 commercial asbestos fibers/10(6) macrophages including those with high aspect ratios, and significant quantities of fly ash and degraded fibrous glass. Acute eosinophilic pneumonia is a rare consequence of acute high dust exposure. World Trade Center dust consists of large particle-size silicates, but fly ash and asbestos fibers may be found in bronchoalveolar lavage cells.
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