The long-term health of those who volunteered with rescue efforts at the World Trade Center after the September 11th attacks isn’t just a concern for New York and New Jersey. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is sponsoring legislation which would reauthorize several programs designed to help rescuers at the World Trade Center site who were injured or later developed diseases. 170 Illinoisans were among those volunteers, but Kirk says federal lawmakers sometimes categorize this support as a East Coast problem.
“The controversy of the bill was the cost,” Kirk said. “The thought was this was a New Yorker bill only. I think of those people who volunteered to work on the pile, they were not just New Yorkers, they were Americans.” The most common health problems for those who worked on rescue and recovery efforts are respiratory diseases caused by breathing in toxic dust at the World Trade Center site.