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New York City Seal Press Release

New York City Department of Health
and Mental Hygiene

Office of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Greg Butler (DOHMH)
Business Hours (212) 788-5290
After Business Hours (212) 764-7667
Kathy Skipper/Jill Smith (ATSDR)
Business Hours (404) 498-0070
Friday, September 5, 2003
 

WORLD TRADE CENTER HEALTH REGISTRY CREATED TO TRACK AND EVALUATE ANY LONG-TERM HEALTH EFFECTS OF 9/11

Health officials urge those in closest proximity to the WTC site on Sept. 11, 2001 to get more information about enrolling in this comprehensive health survey by calling 311, 1-866-NYC-WTCR, or visiting www.wtcregistry.org

NEW YORK CITY - September 5, 2003 - New York City Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, joined by Dr. Henry Falk, Associate Administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and Director of CDC's National Center for Environmental Health, as well as Timothy S. Carey, CEO and President of the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority, today announced the launching of the World Trade Center Health Registry, a comprehensive health survey that will follow the health of those most directly exposed to the World Trade Center collapse and subsequent clean-up efforts. The project was announced today at a press conference held at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park in Lower Manhattan.

"The effects of 9/11 are still being felt today by all New Yorkers, and all Americans," said Dr. Frieden. "Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life were in the vicinity of the twin towers when they collapsed, and were exposed to a combination of smoke, dust, and debris. We need to study the health of these people in order to understand the possible health consequences related to 9/11. If you were there on 9/11, you are strongly encouraged to sign up for the WTC Health Registry."

Dr. Falk said, "The World Trade Center Health Registry will do what no other health survey is doing; it will record and measure the health impact of 9/11 in the broadest possible terms. The Registry is a tool for giving us health data that could guide how we respond to this kind of disaster for generations to come. The more people enroll - even if they feel perfectly healthy - the better our chances will be of understanding any health effects from this tragic event."

Madelyn Wils, Chairwoman for Community Board One in Manhattan said, "I urge everyone who lived or worked near the WTC site on 9/11 to enroll in this important health survey so that we can accurately document the long-term health impacts of 9/11. Community Board 1 will work closely with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene so that community input is included in the health registry, and to ensure that health findings are disseminated throughout the downtown community."

President Carey said, "I plan to enroll in the World Trade Center Health Registry, and I encourage all Battery Park City residents and workers who were here on 9/11 to step forward and enroll too."

The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Registry is designed to enroll people most directly exposed to WTC site on or around September 11, 2001. The goal is to follow up with people periodically over the next 20 years to track any changes in their physical or mental health. It is the largest health registry ever attempted.

Those who enroll in the WTC Health Registry will be asked to complete a 30 minute telephone survey of where they were on 9/11, how long they were in areas with smoke and fumes, and whether they have had any health problems since. Registrants will be periodically contacted to answer questions about any health changes. This information will then be compared with that of the general population to identify any health problems possibly linked to 9/11. Ultimately, findings drawn from the health registry will enable researchers to observe patterns that may be invisible to individual physicians. All information given will be kept strictly private and confidential. No medical examinations or tests are required.

The public will be regularly informed about information from the WTC Health Registry through quarterly reports that will be posted online at www.wtcregistry.org. The first report is expected to be available in the fall of 2003.

Eligible Populations

People from the five boroughs, the greater metropolitan area, and throughout the country will be eligible for the WTC Health Registry, regardless of whether they have any health problems. Those in anyone one or more of the following categories are eligible to enroll:

  • People who were in a building, on the street, or on the subway south of Chambers Street on 9/11/01;
  • Workers involved in the rescue, recovery, or clean-up at the WTC site and/or WTC Recovery Operations on Staten Island any time between 9/11/01 and 6/30/02;
  • Students and staff at schools (pre-K to 12) or daycare centers south of Canal Street on 9/11/01; or
  • People who were living south of Canal Street on 9/11/01.

The health registry will compile a list of exposed persons and collect baseline information by interviewing and periodically re-interviewing exposed persons. It is intended to complement, rather than replace, other more detailed health studies already underway, and may serve as baseline for targeted populations as well as a future source for study samples.

The WTC Health registry is a jointly funded effort of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). RTI International, a non-profit research firm, will be conducting interviews.

To find out more about the WTC Health Registry and the enrollment process, visit www.wtcregistry.org or call toll-free 1-866-NYC-WTCR (1-866-692-9827) or 311.

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