Twenty-Year Reflection on the Impact of World Trade Center Exposure on Pulmonary Outcomes in Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) Rescue and Recovery Workers

Krystal L. Cleven, Carla Rosenzvit, Anna Nolan, Rachel Zeig-Owens, Sophia Kwon, Michael D. Weiden, Molly Skerker, Allison Halpren, David J. Prezant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 (9/11), many rescue/recovery workers developed respiratory symptoms and pulmonary diseases due to their extensive World Trade Center (WTC) dust cloud exposure. Nearly all Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) workers were present within 48 h of 9/11 and for the next several months. Since the FDNY had a well-established occupational health service for its firefighters and Emergency Medical Services workers prior to 9/11, the FDNY was able to immediately start a rigorous monitoring and treatment program for its WTC-exposed workers. As a result, respiratory symptoms and diseases were identified soon after 9/11. This focused review summarizes the WTC-related respiratory diseases that developed in the FDNY cohort after 9/11, including WTC cough syndrome, obstructive airways disease, accelerated lung function decline, airway hyperreactivity, sarcoidosis, and obstructive sleep apnea. Additionally, an extensive array of biomarkers has been identified as associated with WTC-related respiratory disease. Future research efforts will not only focus on further phenotyping/treating WTC-related respiratory disease but also on additional diseases associated with WTC exposure, especially those that take decades to develop, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and interstitial lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-578
Number of pages10
JournalLung
Volume199
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • 9/11
  • Lung injury
  • Obstructive airways disease
  • Occupational exposure
  • World trade center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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