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June 11, 2006

9/11 rescuers fighting cancer

Exposure to jet fuel and other toxins may have caused an unusual number of cancers in otherwise healthy 9/11 responders.

David Worby, a lawyer for 8,000 World Trade Center responders, including cops, firefighters and construction workers, said the cases include blood-cell cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's and myeloma.

Doctors say the cancers can strike three to five years after exposure to toxins such as benzene, a cancer-causing chemical that permeated the WTC site from burning jet fuel.

"One in 150,000 white males under 40 would normally get the type of acute white blood-cell cancer that strikes a healthy detective," said Worby, whose first client was NYPD narcotics cop John Walcott, now 41. Walcott spent months at Ground Zero and the Fresh Kills landfill. The father of three is fighting leukemia.

"We have nearly 35 of these cancers in the family of 50,000 Ground Zero workers. The odds of that occurring are one in hundreds of millions," Worby said.

Sigh. So apparently, we have an airplane attack, and what likely amounts to a secondary chemical attack which is taking out those who wanted to help. In total, 283 World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers have been diagnosed with cancer, and 33 have died.


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