News Stories

911 Dogs are OK?But What About People?

During the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11,2001, up to 400,000 New Yorkers breathed in air from thetoxic cloud caused by the buildings collapse. A U.S.government study shows there was a cover up of the truehealth toll from 911 pollution, which doctors think mayeventually cause more deaths than the attacks themselves.But the sniffer dogs that were exposed on that day are stillhealthy?probably because they pant.

Geoffrey Lean writes in The Independent that the new reportsent to Congress says that between 250,000 and 400,000people in lower Manhattan were exposed to the pollution on911, but there is still no organized program to study thehealth effects.

The cloud of debris from the two towers contained about1,500 times the normal levels of deadly dioxin, as well aslarge amounts of acids, sulfur, fine particles (which arebad for the lungs), heavy metals and other dangerousmaterials. Asbestos was found at 27 times acceptable levels,which can lead to lung cancer and cancer-causinghydrocarbons were also released.

There have been reports that many firefighters and policemenwho worked in the World Trade Center area on September 11are having lung problems, and pregnant women living in thearea have had smaller babies. But so far, the sniffer dogsthat looked for trapped people are OK, which may?or maynot?bode well for the humans who were there.

In New Scientist, Maggie McKee quotes veterinarian CynthiaOtto as saying, "I'm encouraged. Since dogs age more rapidlythan humans, they can serve as sentinels for human disease."

About 300 dogs helped locate survivors or human remains inNew York and Washington. In the first year after theattacks, blood samples showed the dogs' immune systems wereactivated and their livers were filtering toxins out oftheir blood. But test results a year later showed theirbodies had returned a normal state, and the dogs showed noincreases in cancer or death rates.

But that doesn't necessarily mean the people who were therewill stay healthy, because dogs do something we don't: theypant. Environmental health researcher Morton Lippmann says," Dogs pant a lot, and that reduces the deep lungpenetration?especially for the relatively large particles inthis dust."

Do we REALLY know the truth about 911? Dave VonKleist stillhasquestions.Hear all about them on this week'sDreamland.NOTE: Interest in this topic is so strong that we are SOLDOUT already! But we have more on the way and will beshipping again next week, so be sure to place your order,since it will be first come, first served.

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