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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Zadroga Health Fund: Utility Workers Suffer Increased Anxiety

A recent study reveals that utility workers who were deployed at the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster site on 9/11 have an increased level of post traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and depression. The study may significantly increase the potential benefits that utility workers may obtain under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act (“Zadroga Act”) providing a total of $4.3 billion in health benefits and financial compensation for victims, responders, and other harmed by the attacks of September 11th and its aftermath. 


The report concludes that, nonrescue workers deployed to a disaster site are at risk for PTSD and depression. Extent of exposure affected the most vulnerable workers differently than the least vulnerable ones. These results suggest that the relationship among predictors of PTSD may be different for different vulnerability groups, and underscore the importance of screening, education, and prevention programs for disaster workers. 


Recent attention has begun to be focused on the effects of disaster recovery work on nonrescue workers. The study assesses the prevalence and predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related symptoms in a population of utility workers deployed to the World Trade Center (WTC) site in the aftermath of 9/11.  Utility workers deployed to the WTC site were screened at their place of employment between 10 and 34 months following the WTC attacks, utilizing both structured interviews and self-report measures.


Eligibility for benefits under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act include those who were World Trade Center victims and First Responders. Under the law those who worked, attended school, childcare and adult day care, may be eligible. The program also covers some who were present in the area of the dust cloud or who lived in the the New York City disaster area. Certain cleanup and maintenance workers are included including tele-communications workers such as Verizon, AT and T and other employees.



Additionally, various respiratory and digestive diseases are being reported including:
1. Interstitial lung diseases.
2. Chronic respiratory disorder--fumes/vapors.
3. Asthma.
4. Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS).
5. WTC-exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
6. Chronic cough syndrome.
7. Upper airway hyperreactivity.
8. Chronic rhinosinusitis.
9. Chronic nasopharyngitis.
10. Chronic laryngitis.
11. Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).



Like the September 11th Victim Compensation Act of 2001, even if the exposed individuals are living in another state, but were exposed at the NY Disaster Area, the ill individuals may apply for benefits. 


For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered asbestos related disease. Please contact our office if you require assistance in filing a claim under the newly enacted James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.



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