Monday, May 28, 2007

Toxic Dust Death Added To Total From 9/11

It's all Bin Laden and those Islamofascists fault.......
Woman's Name To Be Listed On Sept. 11 Memorial

(CBS/AP) NEW YORK A woman who died of lung disease five months after Sept. 11 was added on Wednesday to the medical examiner's list of attack victims, marking the first time the city has officially linked a death to the toxic dust caused by the World Trade Center's collapse.

Felicia Dunn-Jones, a 42-year-old attorney who was caught in the dust cloud while fleeing the collapsing towers on Sept. 11, 2001, died of sarcoidosis, a rare disease that causes inflammation and scarring in the lungs, on Feb. 10, 2002.

Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch, citing "accumulated scientific research" that concluded exposure to trade center dust can cause or contribute to sarcoidosis, said that "Mrs. Dunn-Jones' exposure to World Trade Center dust on 9/11/01 contributed to her death and it has been ruled a homicide."

"Mrs. Dunn-Jones has now been added to the list of people who died as a result of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers," Hirsch wrote.

The city said the Sept. 11 death toll at the trade center is now 2,750. Dunn-Jones will be listed on the Sept. 11 memorial when it opens in 2009, a spokeswoman for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation said.

Dunn-Jones was not one of the 10,000 plaintiffs suing the city over their exposure to ground zero dust. But David Worby, the attorney who filed the suit, said Wednesday he hopes listing her as a Sept. 11 victim bolsters arguments that people exposed to the toxic plume of pulverized concrete, jet fuel, asbestos and other toxins can contract rare diseases very quickly.

Worby said more than 100 of his clients have died, and said at least five of those people had sarcoidosis. A study published this month by a Fire Department of New York doctor linked sarcoidosis definitively to exposure to the toxic dust, finding firefighters contracted the disease at a much higher rate after the Sept. 11 attacks than before.

New York lawmakers seeking federal funding for Sept. 11 health issues also said more names should be added to the list.

"I hope that the medical examiner is no longer in denial about the trade center dust," said U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. "Dr. Hirsch must review the cases of other 9/11 heroes who, like Felicia, died in the prime of their lives."

A New Jersey medical examiner last year ruled that the January 2006 death of a retired police detective, 34-year-old James Zadroga, was "directly related" to his work at ground zero on and after Sept. 11.

Zadroga's father, Joseph Zadroga, said that his son also suffered from sarcoidosis and that he and many others should be added to the list of victims with Dunn-Jones.

"I think that anybody that passes as a result of 9/11 should be listed on the wall," said Zadroga. "They're going to be adding to that wall for the next 20 years."

James Zadroga was at the trade center site when Seven World Trade Center collapsed but not when the twin towers fell, his father said.

Dunn-Jones breathed in the toxic dust of the towers, did not return to ground zero and became ill shortly after the attacks. She was the only victim who didn't die on Sept. 11 to receive a death benefit from a federal fund to compensate victims' families.

Dunn-Jones' family had asked last year that the medical examiner add her name to the death toll, but Hirsch wrote at the time that his office could not link her death to the exposure "with certainty beyond a reasonable doubt."

And in a letter last week to an attorney representing Dunn-Jones, Hirsch wrote that "I continue to have reasonable doubt" that exposure to trade center dust caused her disease, saying that there was evidence of scarring on Dunn-Jones' heart muscle that appeared to be there before Sept. 11.

But Hirsch said that exposure to the toxic dust cloud certainly would have aggravated her disease and that he would change her listed cause of death.

Dunn-Jones will be listed on the Sept. 11 memorial with the names of 2,973 people killed on Sept. 11 in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., foundation spokeswoman Lynn Rasic said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who chairs the memorial foundation, said his "thoughts and prayers are with the Dunn-Jones family."

"It is on their behalf and on behalf of all those affected by 9/11 that we are now building a memorial that remembers and honors the thousands of innocents that died," he said.


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