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Emergency Preparedness Month

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector

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September is Emergency Preparedness Month. To mark this event, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announces the new NIOSH Emergency Preparedness and Response Directory web page.

The page will help our stakeholders find resources faster and easier for preventing injury and illness among responders in the line of duty. The web page is coordinated by the Emergency Preparedness and Response Office (EPRO) in the NIOSH Director’s Office. EPRO has three main goals: (1) to be the Institute’s focal point for technical expertise on our area in emergency preparedness and response (protecting emergency responders), (2) to help with rapid and specific on-site support, and (3) to advance research into emergency preparedness and response to better safeguard responder safety and health in the line of duty, and promote collaborations that enhance current efforts.

WTC Rescue/Recovery and Obstructive Airway Disease

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector, Respiratory Health, World Trade Center Health Program

 

The inhalation of chemicals, particulate matter (dusts and fibers), and the incomplete products of combustion during occupational and environmental disasters has long been associated with respiratory disorders[1]. While there is substantial literature on the association between respiratory diseases and chronic environmental exposures such as air pollution and long term occupational exposure in industries such as mining, silica handling, and construction, much remains to be learned regarding the biological mechanisms that cause such disease and on the latency between acute exposure and disease onset.

The destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York after a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, resulted in a massive, intense dust cloud that was found to contain a huge variety of irritants including partially combusted and/or pulverized wood, paper, and jet fuel; pulverized construction materials including asbestos, glass, silica, fiberglass, concrete, and silica; complex organic chemicals; lead; and other metals.[2] Increased incidence of respiratory disease has been reported in firefighters who worked in the rescue/recovery effort and in other cohorts. Obstructive airways diseases (OAD), such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, have been shown to be associated with intensity of exposure as measured by arrival time at the WTC site.[3] New onset OAD continues to be observed many years after exposure,[4] contrary to conventional wisdom that irritant-induced asthma should be triggered within a relatively short time after exposure.[5]

GAO Report on Adding Cancers to WTC Covered Conditions

Categories: Cancer, Emergency Response/Public Sector, World Trade Center Health Program

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The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program was established by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Act), and is administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The Program provides medical monitoring and treatment at no cost for enrolled responders at the WTC and related sites in New York City, Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA. It also provides services for enrolled survivors who were in the New York City disaster area. Health conditions, such as types of cancer, can be added to the list of WTC-related covered conditions after a valid petition has been received and the scientific evidence for causation by exposures at the attack sites is analyzed.

Free Online Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance Training

Categories: Emergency Response/Public Sector, Training

An Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS) system is a critical component in protecting emergency workers from the safety and health risks inherent in emergency response work.  An ERHMS system includes specific recommendations and tools for all phases of a response, including the pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment phase.  Medical monitoring and surveillance can help  identify worker exposures and  symptoms early in the course of an emergency response which in turn can prevent or reduce  adverse physical and psychological outcomes.

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