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Cancer Coverage Included for 9/11 Responders and Victims

This week, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announced about 50 types of cancer had been added to the list of 9/11-related illnesses that would be covered by health care costs for responders and victims exposed to toxic debris at ground zero.

Previously, the program only covered lung diseases, asthma, and chronic cough, along with mental health illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Now lung, breast, and colon cancer, as well as leukemia and lymphoma are some of the additions to the list.

According to an article on CBSNews.com, a definitive link between exposure to the toxic dust and these cancers has not been definitely shown, a NIOSH committe said the dust contained about 70 known and possible carcinogens.

Last year, $1.5 billion over five years was granted to the World Trade Center health program. It treats and monitors about 40,000 people who worked in toxic conditions following the attacks. But it is estimated that $3 to $5 billion is actually needed.