Pianist George Winston Performs Benefit Concerts for WTC Environmental Health Center

December 18, 2008

George Winston, the solo pianist, guitarist and harmonica player, donated half of the proceeds from his two recent Abrons Arts Center performances to the WTC Environmental Health Center. Winston is best known for his seasonally themed recordings and melodic style.

This is the second year that Winston donated a portion of his New York concert proceeds to the WTC Environmental Health Center. The Health Center provides testing and treatment to people with 9/11-related health problems.

EPA Releases Final Report on Lower Manhattan Test and Clean Program

November 19, 2008

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded its 2007-2008 Lower Manhattan Test and Clean Program and has issued a report (PDF) summarizing the results. The Test and Clean Program, which covered the area south of Canal Street and west of Allen and Pike Streets, allowed residents and building owners to have the air and dust in their units tested for contaminants associated with dust from the World Trade Center disaster.

Under the program, the EPA tested for four contaminants of potential concern - asbestos, man-made vitreous fibers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and lead. The agency collected samples from 183 residential units and 21 common areas, and offered to clean all spaces in which contaminant levels exceeded the agency’s benchmarks.

Some of the buildings and apartments participating in the 2007-2008 program also took part in the EPA’s 2002-2003 Indoor Air Residential Assistance Program.

New York State Releases New WTC Responder Mortality Figures

October 30, 2008

As part of the federally funded World Trade Center (WTC) Responder Fatality Investigation Program, the New York State Department of Health, in cooperation with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, continues to identify all deaths among rescue and recovery workers who responded to the WTC disaster between September 11, 2001, and June 30, 2002, regardless of how or why the death occurred. In recently released data covering all fatalities through September 2008, the program's outreach efforts have led to the identification of 664 people who worked at the WTC site and have subsequently died. In addition, the program has confirmed 352 causes of death, which are identified from death certificates, autopsies and/or medical records.

The state and city Health Departments and other institutions are analyzing these data. Conclusions about mortality rates are premature until analyses are completed.

Included in the study are police officers, firefighters, construction and demolition workers, Emergency Medical Service technicians and other health professionals and volunteers who worked at the WTC site, on the barges or at the Staten Island landfill. The data is collected from a variety of sources such as newspapers, medical examiners and county coroners, unions, police, family members and WTC health programs, including the WTC Health Registry. An attempt is made to gather information on each casualty's demographics, cause of death, health status before and after the collapse of the WTC, kinds of exposure and autopsy results, if available.

The WTC Health Registry estimates that more than 91,000 workers and volunteers participated in WTC rescue and recovery operations. Findings from the New York State mortality study will help gauge the extent of 9/11-related health problems among this group. For more information, or to report a death, call 518-402-7900.