Friday, November 21, 2008

NIST: Final Report - Collapse of World Trade Center building #7

Gaithersburg (MD) - Yesterday, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released its final report on the September 11, 2001 collapse of World Trade Center building #7 (WTC7).

The report states that a crucial column (number 79) failed due to uncontrolled fires burning on several floors which produced "an extraordinary event." Once column 79 failed, it "initiated a fire-induced progressive collapse that brought the building down."

Computer analysis

NIST received comments from "the building community," and conducted an additional computer analysis of the structural failure of column 79 to see if it would still bring the entire building down at free fall speeds without damage caused by the collapse of WTC1 and WTC2. The investigation team concluded that "the column’s failure under any circumstance would have initiated the destructive sequence of events."

The report follows a two-year investigation into the collapse of WTC7 which, approximately 7 hours after the collapse of WTC1 and WTC2, came down at free fall speeds.

Building code changes because of 9/11

NIST reports that a three-year study of the collapse of WTC1 and WTC2 was conducted. It began in August, 2002 and concluded in October, 2005. As a result, more than 20 changes to the U.S. model building and fire codes have been adopted.

Concerns over collapse

Several university professors, engineers and independent researchers, and even family members of those lost on 9/11, continue to question the government's official account of the event. Testimony by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, given before the 9/11 Commission, whereby he reports the Vice President had prior knowledge of the plane which hit the Pentagon while still many miles out and several minutes before the event, has never been acknowledged on officially published reports.

CNN and BBC both reported the collapse of WTC7 before it occurred. BBC reported it 20 minutes early, with on-air personality Jane Stanley reporting on the disarray downtown caused by the collapse of WTC7.

There were also pools of molten metal found six to eight weeks after the collapse on 9/11. Everyone agrees that a hydrocarbon-based fire (jet fuel) could not heat up steel sufficiently to cause it to become molten. It can heat up enough to weaken and soften it causing it to lose strength, but it cannot melt it to the orange-yellow color observed, and those seen from aerial photographs taken by NASA.

A 24/7 news program related to 9/11 documentaries, reports, presentations, speeches, and more has been created on channel 68078 of the you-broadcast network,

Read more about the report on the NIST press release, read the full report, view a video describing the collapse, look at all of the comments received on the first draft of the WTC7 report, and look at a chart which tracks the progress toward implementing all of the NIST WTC recommendations.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shields Gets 8 Months For 9/11 Hero Fraud

Scott Shields, a former Westport and Greenwich man who credited himself and his golden retriever Bear with recovering bodies at the World Trade Center after Sept. 11, 2001, has been sentenced to eight months in federal prison after his conviction for fraudulently obtaining thousands of dollars in government relief funds, according to court records.

Shields pleaded guilty earlier this year to illegally obtaining government money from two agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and American Red Cross, according to documents on file in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

He was arrested, along with his sister, Patricia Shields, in March 2007 and init­ially pleaded not guilty, records show. In March 2008, Scott Shields changed his plea to guilty, according to court records.

"Mr. Shields has pleaded guilty to defrauding the American Red Cross and FEMA, in an attempt to exploit programs that were providing financial assistance to people affected by one of this country's greatest tragedies," read the sentencing opinion handed down by District Judge Robert Sweet on Oct. 14.

The sentence opinion said that Shields had a previous conviction for bank fraud 18 years ago involving a "significant sum."

After his release from prison, Shields will enter into three years of supervised release. He also was ordered pay back $49,439 to the government. His sister received an identical sentence.

According to court records, Scott and Patricia Shields applied for mortgage and rental assistance from FEMA after Sept. 11, 2001, claiming they lived in Manhattan at the time. However, government records show they were living and working in Greenwich and not eligible for FEMA assistance.

The aid only was meant for people who lived near the World Trade Center, those who had been injured by the events and businesses that were damaged.

Scott and Patricia Shields were evicted from their rental unit in Greenwich in October 2001 for nonpayment of rent, court documents show.

While they did move to lower Manhattan after their eviction, they were not eligible for the funds they received and did not use them to pay rent owned on their city apartment, according to court records.

They were evicted for nonpayment of rent at the Manhattan location, according to court records.

Scott Shields' sentencing comes after six years of making claims about his search and rescue exploits, which were detailed in a book titled Bear: Heart of a Hero, credited to Capt. Scott Shields and co-author Nancy West.

The book was pulled from shelves in 2006, according to a spokesman from the publisher, Hero Dog Publications, after the firm realized Shields was not a captain.

Shields' main claim was that he and his dog Bear aided in the rescue of victims at ground zero. Roy Gross, chief of the Department at the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, whose organization maintained logs of every dog who assisted in the rescue effort, said Shields and Bear were never documented in its records.

"He was a fraud, unfortunately," Gross said.

Shields claimed in a Greenwich Time article in 2001 that he was a marine safety specialist who consulted with the New York City parks department.

Phil Abramson, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, said the department was aware of Shields' claim, but that it was not true.

"Scott Shields was never employed by the parks department and he was never connected to the parks department," Abramson said.

Shields' Manhattan-based attorney, Joel Mark Stein, said he had no comment about the case.

Shields is scheduled to begin serving his term on Wednesday, according to the clerk's office for the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Birmingham Conwoman preys on 9/11 heroes - Sunday Mercury

A CONVICTED Midlands fraudster is facing an FBI probe after being accused of trying to rip-off heroes of 9/11 in an £80 million scam.

Former Black Country businesswoman Gill Hope allegedly targeted ex-New York fireman Vincent Forras who worked at Ground Zero in the vain search for survivors in 2001.

The brave firefighter now battles for compensation for emergency workers who suffered health problems in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

He was recently approached by the former fraudster, via Facebook, and says she offered his charity £80 million if it could raise the same amount – and allow her access to the cash.

Speaking from his home in Connecticut, Mr Forras said: “This woman is a disgrace and what she is trying to do is deplorable.

“I knew something wasn’t right from the start but I was amazed to see how quickly our communication went from friendly introductions to talk about millions of dollars.”

Hope, originally from Wolverhampton, strongly denies the claims.

Mr Forras set up his Gear Up Foundation after the 9/11 attacks. He has been fated for his tireless charity work by the likes of former New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani and Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

But his high-profile role attracted the attention of Hope.

The firefighter said: “She approached me on Facebook and proposed that she had already secured £80 million and just needed to set up final meetings in New York with the Mayor and people like that.

“I knew something was not quite right but I was amazed to discover the truth about her past when I found previous Sunday Mercury articles about her on-line.

“I told the FBI immediately who are currently investigating. To think she would try and do this to the firefighters who responded to Ground Zero on 9/11 when I lost so many brothers is disgusting.”

It is not the first time Hope, formerly known as Gill Edwards and who now calls herself an ‘Ambassador’, has caused controversy in the USA. We previously revealed how she had transformed herself into a bizarre Mother Teresa-style figure, who claimed to know President Bush and A-list celebrities including Angelina Jolie and Elton John.

She also once posed as a nun and appeared in bizarre videos on YouTube to promote her supposed humanitarian work.

Hope fled Britain in 2002 while a warrant was out for her arrest for charges brought by the then Department of Trade and Industry. But it was withdrawn in June 2004 after the authorities failed to trace her.

Yet she was a one-time star of the Midlands’ business world.

In 1988 she scooped the prestigious British Sales and Marketing Award – but after that things went downhill.

Marketing and advertising company E.G. Group of Dudley, where she was managing director, collapsed with debts of almost £250,000.

She later became a director of Global Vouchers plc, of Redditch, Worcestershire, but this firm also crashed with £600,000 debts.

Yet despite being insolvent, the firm carried on trading.

Hope was the only director to be prosecuted and was jailed for 12 months in 1994 for fraudulent trading. She was also disqualified from being a company director for seven years. The fraudster eventually skipped Britain for the US after failing to turn up at court to answer charges brought by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Yet when contacted by the Sunday Mercury, Hope claimed that the 9/11 scam accusations were completely false.

She said: “I think Vinny has misinterpreted our discussions and requests as we have not made any offer of funding to Gear Up Foundation. We have developed a solution for these unmet social needs including two financing offers.

“This is a serious humanitarian and Homeland Security issue and needs to be addressed.

“It would be awesome if you would actually write about what’s possible with imagination, innovation and a desire to provide solutions.”

* To donate to the Gear Up Foundation visit

Sunday Mercury: source

Friday, October 24, 2008

World trade center thermite demolition angle cuts

Great Angle Cut was made by a linear shaped charge, using thermite or thermate.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fred "Scumbag" Parisi faked letter from priest

Prosecutor: Alleged 9/11 con man faked priest letter

A letter from a priest to the Morris County Prosecutor's Office last month heaped praise on a Jefferson man now under investigation for allegedly defrauding people who donated money to his 9/11 charity.

In the letter, "Archbishop" Stephen Petrovich called Fred Parisi a Sept. 11 hero who is being unfairly treated by Jefferson police and wrote that the police department needed to be investigated, not Parisi.

But Petrovich never wrote that letter, Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi said.

Petrovich said Parisi wrote the letter. And Petrovich added in an interview that he is a priest, but not an archbishop.

"He called me and told me he wrote it last month after he sent it," Petrovich said. "I told him he can't do that. That's not right."

Bianchi said the matter remains under investigation.

Parisi, 40, was arrested March 29 and remains at the Morris County jail in lieu of $250,000. He is charged with theft and failure to allow his business partner to access company money -- some $235,000.

Those charges are unrelated to Parisi's charity, the 9/11 Rescue Workers Foundation. But because of his arrest, his 9/11 fundraising activities are now being reviewed.

Although he claims he was a New York City police officer who rescued thousands from Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001, authorities said Parisi was a police recruit training miles away in Brooklyn on that day.

Petrovich, a 57-year-old retired Ukrainian Orthodox priest who lives in Ohio, met Parisi by phone three months ago when the priest was calling 9/11 groups to find volunteer mental health workers to assist a friend providing counseling to rescue workers who moved to Florida.

14 Structural Engineers demand answers

14 Structural Engineers Now Publicly Challenge Government's Explanation for Destruction of the World Trade Center

14 structural engineers now publicly challenge the government's account of the destruction of the Trade Centers on 9/11:

A prominent engineer with 55 years experience, in charge of the design of hundreds of major building projects including high rise offices, former member of the California Seismic Safety Commission and former member of the National Institute of Sciences Building Safety Council (Marx Ayres) believes that the World Trade Centers were brought down by controlled demolition (see also this)

Two professors of structural engineering at a prestigious Swiss university (Dr. Joerg Schneider and Dr. Hugo Bachmann) said that, on 9/11, World Trade Center 7 was brought down by controlled demolition (translation here)

Kamal S. Obeid, structural engineer, with a masters degree in Engineering from UC Berkeley, of Fremont, California, says:
"Photos of the steel, evidence about how the buildings collapsed, the unexplainable collapse of WTC 7, evidence of thermite in the debris as well as several other red flags, are quite troubling indications of well planned and controlled demolition"
Ronald H. Brookman, structural engineer, with a masters degree in Engineering from UC Davis, of Novato California, writes:
"Why would all 110 stories drop straight down to the ground in about 10 seconds, pulverizing the contents into dust and ash - twice. Why would all 47 stories of WTC 7 fall straight down to the ground in about seven seconds the same day? It was not struck by any aircraft or engulfed in any fire. An independent investigation is justified for all three collapses including the surviving steel samples and the composition of the dust."
Graham John Inman, structural engineer, of London, England, points out:
"WTC 7 Building could not have collapsed as a result of internal fire and external debris. NO plane hit this building. This is the only case of a steel frame building collapsing through fire in the world. The fire on this building was small & localized therefore what is the cause?"
Paul W. Mason, structural engineer, of Melbourne, Australia, argues:
"In my view, the chances of the three buildings collapsing symmetrically into their own footprint, at freefall speed, by any other means than by controlled demolition, are so remote that there is no other plausible explanation!"
Mills M. Kay Mackey, structural engineer, of Denver, Colorado, points out:
"The force from the jets and the burning fuel could not have been sufficient to make the building collapse. Why doesn't the media mention that the 11th floor was completely immolated on February 13th, 1975? It had the weight of nearly 100 stories on top of it but it did not collapse?"
Haluk Akol, Structural Engineer and architect (ret.)

Charles Pegelow, structural engineer, of Houston, Texas (and see this)
Dennis Kollar, structural engineer, of West Bend, Wisconsin

Doyle Winterton, structural engineer (retired)

Michael T. Donly, P.E., structural engineer

William Rice, P.E., structural engineer, former professor of Vermont Technical College

There are many other structural engineers who have questioned the government's account in private. We support them


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Clueless: Heartless GOP rep. Darrell Issa

San Diego right wing wacko - GOP Rep. Darrell Issa under fire from everywhere after 9/11 comments

Thursday, April 3rd 2008, 4:00 AM

WASHINGTON - The California congressman who called the Sept. 11 attacks "simply" a plane crash ran for cover Wednesday under a barrage of ridicule from fellow Republicans, first responders and victims' families.

San Diego GOP Rep. Darrell Issa was under siege for suggesting the federal government had already done enough to help New York cope with "a fire" that "simply was an aircraft" hitting the World Trade Center.

"That is a pretty distorted view of things," said Frank Fraone, a Menlo Park, Calif., fire chief who led a 67-man crew at Ground Zero. "Whether they're a couple of planes or a couple of missiles, they still did the same damage."

"New York was attacked by Al Qaeda. It doesn't have to be attacked by Congress," added Long Island Rep. Pete King, a Republican.

"I'm really surprised by Darrell Issa," King added. "It showed such a cavalier dismissal of what happened to New York. It's wrong and inexcusable."

Lorie Van Aucken, who lost her husband, Kenneth, in the attacks, slammed Issa's "cruel and heartless" comments.

"It's really discouraging. People stepped up and did the right thing. They sacrificed themselves and now a lot of people are getting really horrible illnesses," she added.

Under pressure from all sides, the Golden State pol - who got rich selling car alarms after getting busted for car theft as a teen - pulled a partial U-turn. He issued a statement but cowered from the press.

"I continue to support federal assistance for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks," he said.

But he didn't retract his wacked-out rhetoric claiming the feds "just threw" buckets of cash at New York for an attack "that had no dirty bomb in it, it had no chemical munitions in it."

He went on: "I have to ask ... why the firefighters who went there and everybody in the city of New York needs to come to the federal government for the dollars versus this being primarily a state consideration."

In his statement yesterday, Issa insisted he only "asked tough questions about the expenditures" during a hearing Tuesday on an aid bill for sick New Yorkers.

"He realized he stepped in it," said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-Manhattan), who was leading the hearing when Issa popped off.

"The sound I'm hearing is him slamming the brakes and going in reverse," crowed Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn-Queens). Issa also belatedly admitted 9/11 was "an attack on America" in his statement.

It shouldn't have been that hard.

He took to the floor of Congress on Sept. 11, 2001, to argue passionately that America - not just New York - had been attacked, but conveniently forgot that during his Tuesday diatribe.

"It seems that with the passage of time, something happened along the way where the scope of the problem and the real extent of the problem has not drifted out to California," fumed Staten Island GOP Rep. Vito Fossella.

Health officials estimate it could cost $1 billion to care properly for the ailments that may emerge in the people who lived through the horror of Sept. 11 or breathed that toxic dust.

New York lawmakers now want Democratic leaders to bring the 9/11 care bill to the floor soon - before more members of Congress start spouting off like Issa.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Another scumbag: Capt'n Clown Scott Shields pleads guilty

Editor: Scumbag Scott Shields with a new dog former dog (Bear) has passed away- Notice rescue vest and patches! This dog has no training! How many people has this idiot put in danger? -I hope someone is able to care for this beautiful animal and possibly arrange for the proper training when the Scumbag starts doing his time!

He faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison and deserves to do some time for defrauding so many well intentioned people....

Shields' attorney, Jonathan Marks, confirmed that Shields pleaded guilty yesterday to all counts of a federal indictment alleging he lied about needing housing assistance funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Shields has not been sentenced and the guilty plea, entered at a federal court in New York, was not contingent on any agreement regarding sentencing, Marks said.

Combined, the crimes of theft of government funds, mail fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States carry a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison
News article related to Scumbag Scott Shields pleading guilty:
Scott Shields pleads guilty in 9/11 rescue fraud case

Scott Shields and Theodore, a successor to Bear, the rescue dog Mr. Shields claimed performed heroic work at the World Trade Center site following the Sept. 11 attacks. Photo was taken in 2005.
Staff photo by Mark Czajkowski
WEST WINDSOR — A West Windsor man has pleaded guilty to fraud charges for the misuse of Sept. 11-related funds after he made false claims of rescuing victims with his dog Bear from the rubble of the 2001 terrorist attack.

The resident, Scott Shields, pleaded guilty on Thursday to all counts.

That guilty plea pertained to the crimes of theft of government funds, mail fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States after receiving almost $50,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross between November 2000 and early 2002.

Mr. Shields was actually living in Greenwich, Conn., at the time, but he signed assistance papers certifying he was living below Canal Street in Manhattan, and needed federal money due to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Those funds were supposed to be used for assistance for people living in and around Ground Zero, but Mr. Shields instead lied on his application, according to his attorney, Jonathan Marks.

”He admitted he knew that the funds that he was getting from FEMA were to pay for rent only, and he used them to get a new apartment,” said Mr. Marks.

Mr. Shields now awaits sentencing in a New York federal court, where he faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.

His initial fame stemmed from his story of searching and locating victims in the debris left over from the collapse of the Twin Towers with his golden retriever Bear.

Following the publicity surrounding Mr. Shields, law enforcement officials and other critics eventually countered those claims. Mr. Shields was ordered to leave the disaster site with his untrained dog, they said.

A book about his alleged exploits in lower Manhattan — “Bear: Heart of a Hero” — was also disputed after its release by the book’s co-author, Nancy West, who eventually denied much of the information contained in the book.

Mr. Shields’ attorney maintained that his client had assisted in the rescue efforts, stating there was a video posted online showing rescue workers speaking about the efforts of Mr. Shields and his dog.

”There is certainly evidence that Bear was successful in finding some of the victims, and there is a tape on YouTube,” Mr. Marks said, referring to the Internet video site.

More information related to this scumbag:
Scott Shields fraud:
Trading in on Tragedy:
Man admits 9/11 fraud:
UK group exposing the Clown:

Tags: Bear, Scott Shields, Golden retriever, fraud, Ground Zero, 9/11, rescue dog,

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bobonit News Blog - Bob's news blog

Bobonit News Blog - Bob's news blog:

Scumbag Alert: Ground Zero 'hero' arrested

Scumbag Alert: New York City cop is a fraud
Fred "Scumbag" Parisi a self-styled 9/11 hero who brags he helped 'rescue thousands' as a New York City cop is a fraud who never set foot near the World Trade Center that day and quit the force before graduating from the academy, law enforcement sources told the Daily News.Ground Zero 'hero' - The Scumbag arrested at fund-raiser actually a fraud, officials say

Sunday, March 30th 2008, 4:00 AM

A self-styled 9/11 hero who brags he helped "rescue thousands" as a New York City cop is a fraud who never set foot near the World Trade Center that day and quit the force before graduating from the academy, law enforcement sources told the Daily News.

The allegation came after Fred "Scumbag" Parisi at a rally for 9/11 first responders on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on February 26.

Scumbag Parisi was arrested in Carlstadt, N.J., last night while entering a fund-raiser for the 9/11 Rescue Workers Foundation that he founded.

The actual theft charges against the 40-year-old father of three from Jefferson Township, N.J., are unrelated to Sept. 11. Local cops said he looted at least $235,000 from Berkshire Valley Custom Wood Designs, a woodworking company that he also founded.

Just last month, he joined a delegation of legitimate 9/11 rescue workers at the Capitol in Washington to lobby for better health care. He appeared in news photos holding an American flag and standing next to an FDNY deputy chief who lost a son at the World Trade Center.

Scumbag Parisi touts himself as director and founder of the 9/11 Rescue Workers Foundation. His phone number is (866) WTC-HERO.

A foundation press release states, "Fred was there as the second plane hit. But what haunts him is the memory of what the firefighters said on the way up: 'Stay here, Fred. We'll be right back.' " A flyer to raise money to send his 10-year-old son to a baseball program in Holland adds that Parisi "was a New York City Police Officer and staged dramatic rescues to save thousands of New Yorkers."

Scumbag Parisi had said he suffers from a "rare lung disease attributed to the rescue and recovery efforts from Ground Zero on Sept. 11."

But law enforcement sources said Parisi (See Scumbag) and the rest of Police Academy Company 01-16 were on Floyd Bennett Field for driving training during the terrorist attacks and never got close to the Trade Center.

Sources added that on Sept. 12 and 13, 2001, Parisi was assigned to traffic duty at E. 34th St. and Madison Ave., far away from Ground Zero.

Records show he joined the NYPD on July 1, 2001, and quit on Nov. 1, 2001, without graduating from the academy.

Parisi lied on his application, failing to list disciplinary problems in the military and resignations from two other police departments, as well as an arrest for impersonating an officer, sources said.

His impersonation of a 9/11 hero persuaded a public relations executive and a Web site designer to donate their services to assist his foundation.

The public relations executive, Lori Widmer, said she eventually began to suspect that Parisi was not the hero he made himself out to be and asked him if he was trying to cheat people.

He responded with a "veiled threat," she said.

Cops have not determined if Parisi pocketed any of the money raised for his foundation or for his son's baseball trip.

Last night, Parisi arrived at the Waterfront Café dressed for his fund-raiser in a green button-down shirt and khakis. He seemed stunned by his arrest, and in an emotional outburst threatened to kill the investigator who developed the case, Jefferson Township Police Detective Joseph Kratzel.

"Surprised is not even the word," Kratzel said of Parisi. "Dumbfounded."

Parisi was held on $107,500 bail on charges he looted the woodworking company he started up with a woodworker he originally hired and then presented with a "business opportunity" rather than pay him, police said.

Cops said that the uncommonly talented woodworker, Roy Jensen, did all the work and Parisi took all the money, including cash for materials that were never purchased.

Ground Zero 'hero' arrested at fund-raiser actually a fraud, officials
Source: See Scumbag: "Ground Zero 'hero' arrested at fund-raiser actually a fraud, officials say

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Prison awaits 9/11 truth seekers?

An MSNBC reporter says there should be a secret CIA prison for anyone who questions the official account of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"I hope there is a secret prison for all 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists in Eastern Europe," said the reporter on the MSNBC news program Morning Joe.

In recent weeks, the US government and the country's mainstream media have begun adopting extreme measures toward anyone who dares question the publicized account of the events of September 11.

Earlier this week, at a campaign stop by former President Bill Clinton police arrested a protester holding a sign which read '9/11 was an inside job' charging him with 'disorderly conduct'.

The piece on MSNBC was run following comments by the Oscar winning actress Marion Cotillard suggesting that the twin towers were outdated 'money suckers' that it was easier to destroy them; “I think we're lied to about a number of things," she maintained.

The French actress was later forced into a climb-down after the notoriously patriotic Hollywood film industry reacted against her remarks

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sick 9/11 first responders on trip to Washington

On a bus on I-95 - Dozens of sick 9/11 first responders rumbled down to the nation's capital Monday to do what they shouldn't have to: beg lawmakers to fund crucial programs that help pay their growing medical bills.

"I feel like a charity case," said Charles Giles, 40, who worked as an emergency medical technician for 16 years - including five months at Ground Zero. He got sick in 2002 and, after 13 separate hospitalizations, has had to sell his house to pay medical bills.

"[Sept. 11] has destroyed us," said Giles, of Toms River, N.J. "We gave our heart and souls on 9/11. What this government is doing to us now is a shame."

The bus ride was organized by the FealGood Foundation, a group founded by John Feal, a 9/11 volunteer whose foot was crushed by an 8-ton steel beam.

"This is like show and tell," Feal told the Daily News Monday. "For 6 1/2 years we've been neglected, denied and lied to."

He said New York's congressional delegation hasbeen helpful, but "the national delegation needs to see these people."

The group will hold a protest on Capitol Hill today to ask Congress to restore millions of dollars to programs like Healthcare for Heroes. Only $25 million has been earmarked for 2009 - compared with $108 million in 2008.

"If that closes, all of us are going to have to find other doctors and start all over and for some people, that will be too late," said Keith LeBow, a 44-year-old ironworker from Manhattan.

LeBow, who would have to spend about $2,000 a month on his medications alone without help from the government, said he went to Washington even though he has a hard time getting out of bed.

"They don't want to hear it anymore," he complained.

Joe Picurro, 40, an ironworker who is also from Toms River, walks with a cane now and takes about 35 pills a day.

"I'm ashamed that I have to go down to Congress to beg for money," he said.

The News, in a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning editorials, has also fought for proper funding for the city's sick heroes.


Monday, February 18, 2008

911 Responders Need Our Help NOW! Pay it forward.

911 Responders Need Our Help NOW! Pay it forward.:

The First Responders who rushed to Ground Zero on September 11th and who stayed behind for months to assist in the recovery effort and clean-up were exposed to pulverized concrete, asbestos, mercury, glass, and other deadly toxins. Respiratory protection was not made available in the early weeks after the attack.

Reports state that over 70% of First Responders are suffering with mesothelioma, cancer, and other very serious illnesses. Some have already died.

Government at the local, state, and national levels has denied that these health issues are related to the work the First Responders did at Ground Zero. Consequently, our First Responders are struggling to pay for their healthcare expenses, mortgage payments and sometimes food for their family's tables. They need our help and they need it now.

My name is Michele Little and I am the sister of Fallen Firefighter David M. Weiss of Rescue 1 Midtown Manhattan. He was murdered in the North Tower of the WTC.

I believe that if David were alive he would be one of the thousands of heroes who are being diagnosed with cancers and leukemia as well as respiratory diseases today.

This situation is NOT going away. These men and women AND their families need our help!

I urge you to donate to the 911 Responders money bomb between now and February 16th.

Visit and on The Money Bomb link. See YouTube: See YouTube:

Thank you,

Michele Little supporting John Feal and the for all the great work they are doing for 911 Responders

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
911 Responders Need Our Help NOW! Pay it forward.

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Friday, February 8, 2008

9-11 Memorial: Man has taken his life by gun - Suicide

A distraught man has commited suicide on Staten Island at The Staten Island September 11 Memorial which honors the Staten Island victims of terrorist attacks

Police say the 37-year-old man called cops to say he was going to take his own life shortly.

When cops got to to the memorial they found the man with a gun to his head. Moments later he pulled the trigger.

According to the Staten Island Advance, the man killed himself at around 5 am.

The Staten Island 9/11 Memorial is located along the North Shore Waterfront Esplanade adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and the Richmond County Ballpark at St. George. The site provides panoramic views of New York Harbor, Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

Super Challenge: A Journey for 9/11 Web Site

Eyewitness News is in Arizona for you to cover Super Bowl XLII. And we had the opportunity Friday to speak with one of the few Giants players who has a Super Bowl ring.

George Martin was a defensive end and captain for the Giants and helped them win Super Bowl XXI.

He is now working toward an even greater cause. He is walking across the country, all 3,200 miles, to raise money for hundreds of ailing 9/11 rescue workers.

He calls them the true heros of our time.

Martin has been walking since September when he crossed over the George Washington Bridge. After the Super Bowl he will fly back to Oklahoma City and resume his cross-country trek.

His goal is to raise $10 million to help defray medical costs for those ailing rescue workers.

If you would like to monitor Martin's progress or donate money you can log on AJourneyfor9/

NYPD attempts to outlaw personal monitors

“When air monitors have been outlawed, only outlaws will have air monitors!”

The slogan, which has become the unofficial rallying cry of an ad hoc coalition of labor unions, environmental groups, elected officials and community activists, was environmental activist Bob Gulack’s reaction when he heard a report about the New York City Police Department’s plan to require a permit for any independent environmental sampling used in the city.

A long list of organizations and individual activists all oppose the proposed law, known as Intro 650, which was unveiled by NYPD brass at the City Council’s Public Safety Committee Jan. 8 meeting.

The proposed legislation would make it a misdemeanor for anyone in New York City to own, or use, any device that measures chemical, biological or radiological contamination. Banned devices could include smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, Geiger counters, and any device that collects and analyzes air or water samples, for contamination without first obtaining a permit from NYPD.

It was the independently collected air samples in Lower Manhattan after 9/11 that debunked the claim by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the air was safe to breathe.

Among those opposed to Intro 650 is U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, whose congressional district includes the site of the World Trade Center. Testifying to the City Council, Nadler called the bill “a great potential to threaten the important contributions made by academic research institutions, unions, and environmental and community-based organizations that conduct independent chemical, biological and radiological environmental sampling.” Nadler is a leading proponent of federal legislation to provide healthcare to people now sick due to exposure of 9/11-related contamination.

The overriding question is why would NYPD want to control the use of air monitors and other environmental sampling equipment?

“Our mutual goal is to prevent false alarms and unnecessary public concern by making sure that we know where these detectors are located and that they conform to standards of quality and reliability,” said Richard Falkenrath, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Counter-Terrorism in his testimony for the bill.

The bill’s opponents call this justification for the bill a smokescreen. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer noted that he had never heard of a false alarm caused by private environmental monitoring. “This is a fake emergency that doesn’t exist,” he said. “If it’s not a problem, let’s not try to create one.”

“As introduced, Intro 650 has the potential to adversely impact, delay or even prevent unions, environmental activists and others from doing the kind of work that is now done under the protection of laws such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the National Labor Relations Act,” said Dave Newman, an industrial hygienist with the non-profit New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health. Also according to the police department’s testimony, the driving force behind the bill is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The police testified that the federal government asked NYPD to lobby for the bill, with the intention of using the proposed New York City law as a model to be adopted by other cities and states. In response to the strong opposition, the city prepared a revised version of the bill, which was made public Jan. 25. The revised bill exempts any detector that, “presents no significant possibility of triggering an alert of a possible biological, chemical or radiological weapons attack” from its requirements.

Despite the exemption for smoke detectors, opposition to the bill remains solid because it would require permits for almost all sampling equipment used by environmental and labor organizations to test for environmental degradation or dangerous working environments.

The bill has no provision for an appeal if the NYPD refuses to issue a permit, except to allow the applicant to submit an amended application.

Source: NYPD-terror-bill

Health News: A Dormant Danger in the Dust

As time elapses, the fateful and devastating effects of the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001 continue to unfold. Countless hopes and dreams went down with the collapsing World Trade Center towers­—an intangible loss that can never be calculated or aptly assessed. However, a looming concern regarding the health effects of the aftermath continues to rise.

When the World Trade Center (WTC) towers crumbled, a dust cloud containing more than 2,500 contaminants spread across the city—reaching as far as New Jersey. The toxic dust was composed of harmful elements such as construction debris, glass and other fibers, and poisonous compounds such as lead, mercury, and asbestos. Those living and working near the WTC and those who assisted in cleanup were gravely affected by this contaminated dust. Many of those exposed to the dust have experienced disquieting health issues, ranging from problems with breathing to various forms of cancer, the most common being lung cancer.

On January 6, 2008, the New York Post released the preliminary results of a study by the New York State Department of Health, which reported at least 204 rescue and recovery workers and volunteers have died since 9/11, falling victim to a range of cancers and other disorders. The lead researcher informed The Post that a total of 98 fatalities have been confirmed with death certificates. The research shows that 77 persons died of illnesses, including 55 deaths caused by lung and other cancers.

Lung cancer and various respiratory ailments seem to be the most common health issues facing those affected by the WTC attacks. In early April 2006, the Centers for Disease Control reported an alarming 62 percent of individuals caught in the toxic dust cloud are suffering with respiratory problems. Additionally, 46 percent of those living or working near the WTC that avoided the dust cloud have reported consistent respiratory problems.

An honorary keepsake saved by a WTC volunteer has illuminated a possible leading cause to the disconcerting lung ailments. Community liaison Yehuda Kaploun, who spent 48 hours volunteering immediately after the attacks at Ground Zero, saved the dress shirt he wore in a plastic bag to honor those lost on 9/11. Kaploun submitted the shirt to authorities in April 2006 with hopes that results of contamination would help volunteers get medical support for the diseases they are likely to develop or may have already developed.

Test results revealed the shirt contains a highly toxic level of chrysotile asbestos, otherwise known as white asbestos. The contamination was 93,000 times higher than the average amount found in U.S. cities, and also higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s reports of the most contaminated building after 9/11.

Kaploun’s shirt was also contaminated with mercury, barium, zinc, chromium, antimony, cobalt, copper, lead, and molybdenum. Heavy metals like these burned in the fires that lasted for nearly four months after the attacks.

With these disturbing levels of asbestos and other contaminants, it’s no wonder so many individuals associated with the aftermath are suffering with respiratory problems and lung cancer. How could such high levels of asbestos be recorded when the EPA banned and ordered a phase out of asbestos in 1989?

Completed in 1977, the WTC was originally designed to utilize 5,000 tons of asbestos-containing fireproofing on the first 40 floors of the buildings. Anticipating a ban on the use of asbestos in construction in New York, the builders stopped using the material after reaching the 40th floor on the north tower. A spokesperson from the New York Port Authority stated more than half of the asbestos-containing fireproofing was replaced at a later date.

Despite these measures, an estimated 2,000 tons of asbestos was released into the air in the form of fine dust. Microscopic asbestos compounds are easily inhaled, and due to its atomic structure, readily adheres to any substance and is indestructible by the human body. Once absorbed, asbestos sticks to the inner lining of the lungs, heart and stomach, and cannot be broken down or expelled by the body. Asbestos exposure could potentially lead to a variety of destructive and deadly illnesses, such as asbestosis and lung cancer. Exposure to asbestos over time can also lead to a very rare form of cancer, known as mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops in mesothelial cells, which form the protective membranous linings that surround the body’s organs, and line body cavities such as the chest. The most common forms of mesothelioma infect the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity), the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity), and the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart). Every form a mesothelioma, except the benign form, is most likely fatal, as beating the disease is exceptionally rare.

Unfortunately, mesothelioma is extremely difficult to diagnose in its early stages. Once an individual is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the cancer is usually in its late stages and is highly resistant to treatment. The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, and an individual’s risk for developing this cancer increases with extended exposure.

This elusive disease typically remains dormant for 20 to 50 years before symptoms begin to appear. Symptoms of mesothelioma are relatively non-specific and are often quite similar to symptoms of other diseases, which undoubtedly contributes to late diagnosis. For example, pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of the cancer, exhibits symptoms ranging from a persistent cough to night sweats or fever. These early warning signs are often misdiagnosed as pneumonia or influenza, allowing the cancer to develop and spread unnoticed.

Nearly 10,000 individuals in the United States die annually from asbestos-related diseases, such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. If you or anyone you know was near the WTC on 9/11, helped in the cleanup, or live or work near the site, you are advised to closely monitor your health and seek assistance from a licensed doctor. For additional resources on mesothelioma and mesothelioma treatment please see the resources at

If you have not done so already, it is not too late to contact The World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program. This program provides free and confidential monitoring examinations to workers and volunteers who responded to the WTC attacks. For the next five years, those who participate in the program will receive free medical examinations at regular intervals to monitor responder health. The program’s website,, offers more information on how to sign up and where to go for examinations.

For more information on asbestos, its uses and harmful health effects, please visit

Source: WRH

9/11 Toxic Dust Deaths Continue

9/11 Toxic Dust Deaths Continue

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 -

When the World Trade Center (WTC) towers crumbled, a dust cloud containing more than 2,500 contaminants spread across the city—reaching as far as New Jersey. The toxic dust was composed of harmful elements such as construction debris, glass and other fibers, and poisonous compounds such as lead, mercury, and asbestos. Those living and working near the WTC and those who assisted in cleanup were gravely affected by this contaminated dust. Many of those exposed to the dust have experienced disquieting health issues, ranging from problems with breathing to various forms of cancer, the most common being lung cancer. On January 6, 2008, the New York Post released the preliminary results of a study by the New York State Department of Health, which reported at least 204 rescue and recovery workers and volunteers have died since 9/11, falling victim to a range of cancers and other disorders. The lead researcher informed The Post that a total of 98 fatalities have been confirmed with death certificates. The research shows that 77 persons died of illnesses, including 55 deaths caused by lung and other cancers. Lung cancer and various respiratory ailments seem to be the most common health issues facing those affected by the WTC attacks. -What Really Happened"

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Witnessing Horror at the World Trade Center -- KELLY 165 (2): 261 -- Am J Psychiatry

Witnessing Horror at the World Trade Center -- KELLY 165 (2): 261 -- Am J Psychiatry:

"Witnessing Horror at the World Trade Center

New York, N.Y.

To The Editor: The study reported by Megan A. Perrin, M.P.H., et al., published in the September 2007 issue of the Journal (1), involved a methodologic decision which may have resulted in the loss of some clinically important data and an underestimate of the traumatogenic experiences of firefighters.

The article stated that "witnessing horror," one of the variables studied for its effects on the prevalence of probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), "was defined as witnessing any of the following: an airplane hitting the World Trade Center, a building collapsing, people running from a cloud of dust/debris, individuals being injured or killed, or people falling or jumping from the World Trade Center towers" (1, p. 1387). These experiences are surely horrific, but the list includes only events at the time of the collapse.

As noted in the Cohort section, work at the World Trade Center site continued for nearly 9 months after the collapse. During that time, members of the New York City Fire Department performed the bulk of the recovery work and were repeatedly exposed to horrific scenes of decaying and dismembered human remains. In the early days of the recovery effort, firefighters often had to disassemble corpses in order to remove them from the wreckage before they burned. In later months, the remains they found were in states of increasing decomposition. All these conditions contributed to the cumulative traumatic effect of the ongoing World Trade Center experience and may help to explain the greater prevalence of PTSD found among firefighters than among other groups, such as the police.

In my capacity as staff psychiatrist for the New York City Fire Department’s Bureau of Health Services and Counseling Services Unit, I have had occasion to interview and treat hundreds of firefighters traumatized by their experiences at the World Trade Center. While large-scale bereavement and threats to personal safety were surely traumatic for them, it is the horrific experiences of the recovery period in the months after the collapse itself that regularly appear in their nightmares and flashbacks.


Dr. Kelly is a medical officer in the New York City Fire Department.

This letter (doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.07091491) was accepted for publication in October 2007.


Perrin MA, DiGrande L, Wheeler K, Thorpe L, Farfel M, Brackbill R: Differences in PTSD prevalence and associated risk factors among World Trade Center disaster rescue and recovery workers. Am J Psychiatry 2007; 164:1385–1394[Abstract/Free Full Text]

Thursday, January 31, 2008

FIRE NEWS - Marc Mullenix passed away


Fire News: Marc Mullenix passed away

photo of Marc MullenixMarc Mullenix of Fairmount Fire Dept near Denver passed away on 1- 28

Marc Mullenix (ICT1 trainee on Rocky Mtn Team) passed away last night.

Last year he was a Type 1 Incident Commander trainee on Kim Martin's Incident Management Team in the Rocky Mountain Geographic Area.

Marc was a veteran of Ground Zero/ 9-11 and an IC IMT2 during Katrina operations.

Previous employers and assignments included:

  • Bureau Land Management Station Forman for the Benton Fire Station, California (1989)
  • Wildland Fire Division Chief for the Boulder Fire Department, Colorado.
  • Fire Management Officer for Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado.
  • Fairmont Fire Protection District, Colorado.
  • Ground Zero New York, New York 9-11-2001
  • Katrina -Texas - IC IMT2

Here is a link to a short article of Marc recounting his work at Ground Zero
Here is a link to a short article of Marc recounting his work at the Snaking fire outside of Denver which appeared on the CNN web site.
Here is a link to a short article on Cal Fire News of Marc discussing the Neola North Fire

Marc Mullenix quote found on the web:
In regards to Ground Zero - "We saw the faces; we heard the stories; we were at the pile when they found a body," he says."In 22 years of fire service, this was by far the worst thing and the best thing ... the most psychologically draining thing I've ever done. Every nerve ending was ripped open like a scab. I'll never forget the smell. The noise was unbearable ... every one of your senses is maxed out. "

Join the discussion of Marcs passing at: Theysaid Forum
As friends and
colleague's share remembrances about this larger than life professional wild land fire fighter's life, the following quotes in regards to Marc are from Theysaid.

Marc was a colleague, mentor, and friend. Words fail to express our loss.
Please say a prayer for our brother, his family, and his friends.
Rest assured, his passion will live on in all of us fortunate to have worked
with him.
Godspeed, Marc, Godspeed."

Marc was an excellent firefighter, leader, teacher, motivator, and friend"

When someone as fine as Marc passes on it's hard to know what to say.
He was a good thinker, good strategist, cared for the troops, knew how
to communicate. He was a LEADER. It's hard to think that he won't be
around doing what he did well. Our loss, fire's loss. My condolences to
his family."

I am deeply saddened to hear of Marc's passing. Marc was an excellent firefighter, leader, teacher, motivator, and friend. The most important thing I learned from Marc was 'always take care of your people'. It was hard not to have fun when around Marc, even when situations got to be a bit rough he had a way of keeping morale up while keeping the troops focused on the task at hand. He was a great guy that will be dearly missed.
My condolences to his family.
Godspeed, Marc."

I met Marc at least twenty years ago in Boulder, CO and wrote a story about this larger-than-life wildland guy. Just talking with him, I could sense that this man was going places in the wildland fire world. And, he sure did! He was known far and wide in that world, thinking out of the box. Doin great things for his wildland fire folks. He reminded me of wildland fire legend, Paul Gleason. Since they knew each other, I should think that they are sittin side by side under a big old pine tree swapping fire stories up yonder. Ya, that's how I picture him and his friend, Paul."

To his wife Shawna, and to his daughter, extended family and vast numbers of friends and colleagues, the sincerest condolences on the passing of one of wildland fire's memorable and excellent personalities. He's home now.

Please leave comments here

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

9-11 rescue workers abandoned by White house

Bush Administration avoiding hearing on aid for out-of-state 9/11 responders

The White House is ducking Tuesday's hearing on why it scrapped a plan to help ailing 9/11 responders who live outside New York.

The decision to skip the hearing is angering critics who say the Bush administration has all but abandoned the generous souls who raced to New York after 9/11.

"Responders rushed from all over the country to help New York on 9/11. But [the U.S. Health and Human Services Department] couldn't find one person in the building to come to New York?" said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens).

"They don't fight for 9/11 health programs. Instead, they fight to stop them."

A spokeswoman who returned a call to the Health and Human Services Department said officials would answer questions at another time.

That's not good enough for Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-Brooklyn), who leads the House oversight subcommittee on government management, organization and procurement.

"If I must issue subpoenas, that is what I will do," Towns vowed. "The administration's handling of 9/11 health care is one of the worst-managed programs I have ever seen."

The nationwide 9/11 health program would have offered pharmacy benefits to sick responders and processed medical reimbursements, a key step in setting up regional clinics.

Many ailing responders are still forced to travel to New York for care. Federal officials have said the program was canceled because bidders were confused and cost estimates had ballooned.

Monday, January 21, 2008

IAFF: ‘Fire Brigade’ Descends Upon Orlando

‘Rudy Lied, Fire Fighters Died on 9/11’

IAFF ‘Fire Brigade’ Descends Upon Orlando
More Than 100 Fire Fighters Rally Against Giuliani

11:30 am, Tuesday, Jan. 22
Orlando City Hall, 400 S. Orange Avenue Orlando , Florida

Media Contacts: Bill Glanz 202 824-1566,202 329-5856 (cell)
David Roscow 703-276-2772 x21

9/11 FDNY Veteran Fire Fighters Fault Giuliani for Lack of Preparedness

Orlando – More than 100 Orlando fire fighters will join the International
Association of Fire Fighters “Fire Brigade” to protest former New York Mayor
Rudy Giuliani’s presidential candidacy at a demonstration outside of Orlando
City Hall. The “Fire Brigade,” a group of retired New York City fire fighters
and family members of fire fighter victims of the September 11, 2001, attack on
the World Trade Center will expose Giuliani’s trumped up 9/11 credentials as a

Prior to the demonstration the Orlando fire fighters will gather at a rally at
10 am at the Fire Fighters Council of Central Florida, 4005 North Blossom Trail
in Orlando.

“This is about the judgment of our country’s next President,” said IAFF General
President Harold A. Schaitberger. “Voters in Florida, where Rudy has pinned his
hopes for his election, need to know Giuliani’s record of poor judgment so they
understand why we don’t believe he’s nearly qualified to be our next President
of the United States.”

Jim Riches, a newly retired Deputy Chief of the Fire Department of New York,
has been leading the IAFF “Fire Brigade.” Riches has trailed the Giuliani
campaign over the last week protesting at events in Titusville, Sun City
Center, Celebration, Coral Springs, and other sites.

“No one knows better than fire fighters who were at the World Trade Center that
Giuliani failed to prepare first responders before 9/11 and that he is totally
unprepared to become our commander-in-chief,” said Riches, who responded on
9/11 and lost his fire fighter son, Jimmy Riches, at Ground Zero. “We object to
Giuliani using 9/11 as his calling card in this campaign. He and his campaign
cronies say New York City fire fighters love him, but that is far from the
truth. We despise him. Giuliani’s failure on 9/11, and in the days and months
leading up to the attack prove he is unfit to serve as President.”

The first event was held in Jacksonville on Thursday, where he met with members
of Jacksonville Fire Fighters Local 122, retired and active, to discuss
Giuliani’s record.

To explain Giuliani’s failed leadership, the IAFF created a 13-minute video,
which can be viewed at, and on YouTube, where with
more than 380,000 views it has become one of the most popular video in the news
and politics category on the video sharing Web site. The IAFF is funding and
assisting the “Fire Brigade” as it crisscrosses Florida.

“Rudy doesn’t know anything about fighting terrorism, as far as we are
concerned he has terrible judgment,” Riches said. “He couldn’t even protect his
own fire fighters, forcing us to use radios that didn’t work, placing the
emergency command center in a known terrorist target that collapsed on 9/11 and
then disrespecting fire fighters and families when he cut short the recovery
effort and began scooping and dumping bodies in a trash dump.”

“I was in FDNY for more than 40 years, and was the Chief of Safety, so I know
that Giuliani did nothing for fire fighters,” said Al Santora, a retired Deputy
Chief who lost his fire fighter son, Christopher Santora, on 9/11. “His actions
at the time and leading up to the attack, and during the day itself, showed a
tremendous lack of judgment, and failure of leadership.”

“Rudy talks a big game about 9/11, but the fact is he was on the street that
day, not in a controlled place making command decisions, because he had placed
his emergency command center at 7 World Trade Center – the number one terrorist
target in the world, which collapsed on 9/11,” Santora said. “That video that
everyone has in their heads of Giuliani on the streets is him running away from
the scene because he had nowhere to go because of his bad decisions.”

“Rudy continues to lie about his role on 9/11, but we’re not going to let him
get away with it,” Riches said. “The IAFF and our Fire Brigade are going to be
the conscience of 9/11, haunting Giuliani’s footsteps in this campaign. We will
not forget his failures, and we want the American people to remember, as well.”

The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington,
DC, represents more than 287,000 full-time professional fire fighters and
paramedics who protect 80 percent of the nation’s population. More information
is available at

Monday, January 7, 2008

New study - 9/11 Health Effects Persist

New University Online: "9/11 Health Effects Persist
By Daniel Johnson

9/11 Health Effects Persist

By Daniel Johnson
A new study helmed by Alison Holman, professor in nursing science at UC Irvine, shows that stress responses linked to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 are greater than previously thought.

The study shows that the attacks have been connected with a 53 percent increase in cardiovascular ailments in the three years following the events, according to a UCI press release.

These findings contrast considerably with an earlier study that showed 17 percent of America’s population outside of New York had reported post-traumatic stress symptoms in the months following the attacks.

Holman commented on the groundbreaking nature of the study, as well as the impact the events of 9/11 had on individuals not immediately connected with the tragedy.

“Our study is the first to show that even among people who had no personal connection to the victims, those who reported high levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms in the days following the 9/11 attacks were more than twice as likely to report being diagnosed by their doctors with cardiovascular ailments like high blood pressure, heart problems and stroke up to three years later,” Holman said.

The study consisted of a randomly selected body of 2,000 volunteers from across the United States.

According to the UCI press release the participants filled out surveys that included questions that indicated whether they had stress-related responses, continuing concerns about such issues as terrorism, and medically diagnosed ailments.

With close to 3,000 deaths resulting from the events of Sept. 11, the gravity of the attacks cannot be denied. For this reason, among others, 9/11 has become one of the defining traumatic events of the decade on a global scale.

According to Angela Wang, president of the Public Health Association at UCI and a fourth-year public health policy major, traumatic events generally contribute to stress on an emotional and physical level, which can linger on for years.

“Traumatic events can contribute to the usual stress by disrupting our emotional and physical being. Even years later, people can still have flashbacks of the events,” Wang said.

Wang gave specifics concerning the emotional and physical reactions caused by traumatic events and confirmed their connection to cardiovascular difficulties, as was similarly stated in the UCI study.

“Emotionally, you may experience mood swings, anxiety and sometimes depression. Physically, as you think back to the event your body may [experience] shock and become numb.

Even worse, your heartbeat may increase and you develop a difficulty in breathing,” Wang said. Wang went on to note a list of seven side effects caused by traumatic events.

These effects include an increased difficulty in decision-making, a disruption in sleep and eating patterns, becoming distant with family and friends, suffering panic disorders and depression, a tendency toward substance abuse, chronic sleep deprivation and having relationship problems when support is needed.

Although such concerns as terrorism have lingered on past the Sept. 11 attacks, on a global scale many health ailments go untouched by such issues.

Vy-van Tran, co-president of the World Health Organization of Students at UCI and a fourth-year biological sciences major, addressed how many suffer throughout the world from diseases such as huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy and juvenile diabetes that are in no immediate way tied to traumatic events such as those caused by terrorism.

“Honestly, I can’t say that terrorism has been a contributing factor for the health issues we’ve discussed. It hasn’t really come up, but it’s an interesting idea to think about,” Tran said.

Still, despite admitting a lack of medical expertise on the issue, Tran believes that continuing stresses over terrorism can negatively affect both an individuals’ mental and physical health.

“I think, to some extent, the stresses of terrorism can play a significant role in health, but I’d think that mental health rather than physical health would be impacted more,” Tran said.

Unlike many who took part in the study, Tran noted her personal experience of having a distant feeling to the Sept. 11 attacks and went on to hypothesize why many may feel this way.

“I think the level of stress someone may have felt from the attacks is probably correlated to how close they were to them … [such as] if a loved one was lost in the attacks or was sent overseas as a result of the attacks,” Tran stated.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


CHARTING POST-9/11 DEATHS: "January 6, 2008 --

January 6, 2008 -- At least 204 Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers have died since 9/11 - succumbing to a range of cancers and other ailments, according to preliminary results of a state Health Department study.

Researchers have confirmed 98 fatalities so far with death certificates. They show that 77 died of illnesses, including 55 from lung and various other cancers, the lead researcher told The Post.

Traumatic injuries, such as from car crashes or gunshots, killed the other 21, including three suicides. Five deaths were homicides - four of them cops in the line of duty.

"We're not saying they are all World Trade Center related; we're just saying this is what people are dying from," said Dr. Kitty Gelberg, the state Bureau of Occupational Health's chief epidemiologist.

The WTC Fatalities study, launched a year ago, expects to collect many more names of deceased 9/11 responders over the next 18 months.

"I think it's underreported right now," Gelberg said of the 204 figure. "We want to know about anyone who worked there and died."

Of those deaths, about a third occurred in New York City, a third in Long Island or upstate, and the rest in 15 other states.

The FDNY, the NYPD, the WTC Medical Monitoring Program at Mount Sinai Hospital, and the city's WTC Health Registry have yet to share their data, pending negotiations on patient confidentiality, Gelberg said.

Lawyers for 10,000 WTC responders or their families who have filed toxic-injury suits have turned over names on the condition that the next of kin not be contacted, she said.

The study received a $165,000 federal grant and authority to obtain medical records, autopsies and death certificates. Researchers are also interviewing relatives but will not release any names, Gelberg said.

Several of the 55 responders who died of cancer had the disease before 9/11, but the majority developed it afterward, Gelberg said. After 19 cases of lung cancers, the second-largest cause of death was heart disease, including 10 heart attacks.