Ground Zero workers' lungs aged 12 years

Aug 01, 2006

Toxic dust and fumes around New York's collapsed World Trade Center in 2001 have aged the lungs of rescue workers by 12 years, researchers said Tuesday.

Gisela Banauch, an author of the study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, wrote that before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an ongoing survey of some 12,000 emergency workers' scores showed an annual drop of about 31 milliliters of lung volume a year, associated with normal aging.

However, in the year after the attacks, rescuers lost an average of 372 milliliters of volume in respiratory capacity, a decline doctors would expect to see after 12 years of aging, Banauch wrote.

Banauch, a physician at New York's Montefiore Medical Center, said it wasn't known if lung function will continue to deteriorate or whether rescuers' lungs will heal some of the damage.

The swirling air after the towers collapsed contained more than 400 chemicals, USA Today reported.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Science of romantic relationships includes gene factor

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Coming up for air

Oct 29, 2014

Sometimes you've got to hit bottom to battle your way back up. In 1992, the United Nations cited Mexico City as having the worst air quality in the world, with so much pollution that birds sometimes dropped ...

New technology transforms research in viral biology

Sep 11, 2013

Researchers at The Mount Sinai Medical Center have developed an innovative system to test how a virus interacts with cells in the body—to see, for example, what happens in lung cells when a deadly respiratory virus attacks ...

It's not just the heat – it's the ozone

Jul 19, 2013

During heat waves – when ozone production rises – plants' ozone absorption is curtailed, leaving more pollution in the air, and costing an estimated 460 lives in the UK in the hot summer of 2006.

Recommended for you

Madagascar working to contain plague outbreak

9 minutes ago

Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague—similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe—that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo.

Developing a noninvasive test for endometriosis

12 minutes ago

Researchers at UC San Francisco have identified patterns of genetic activity that can be used to diagnose endometriosis and its severity, a finding that may offer millions of women an alternative to surgery through a simple ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.