More than seven years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, rescue workers still had trouble breathing after they inhaled from the cloud of dust that enveloped southern Manhattan, a new study concludes.
Doctors conducted a seven-year study of members of the New York City Fire Department who responded to the World Trade Center attacks between Sept. 11 and Sept. 24, 2001. The researchers were able to include 91 percent of the responding workers -- a total of 10,870 firefighters and 1,911 EMS workers.
By 2008, the rescuers who had significant declines in lung function a year after the attack had still not recovered, and the recorded drop in lung function was about 12 times the rate seen in normal aging. The research was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.