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Characteristics of a Residential and Working Community With Diverse Exposure to World Trade Center Dust, Gas, and Fumes

Reibman, Joan MD; Liu, Mengling PhD; Cheng, Qinyi MS; Liautaud, Sybille MD; Rogers, Linda MD; Lau, Stephanie MD; Berger, Kenneth I. MD; Goldring, Roberta M. MD; Marmor, Michael PhD; Fernandez-Beros, Maria Elena PhD; Tonorezos, Emily S. MD, MPH; Caplan-Shaw, Caralee E. MD; Gonzalez, Jaime MD; Filner, Joshua MD; Walter, Dawn MPH; Kyng, Kymara RN; Rom, William N. MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 5 - p 534-541
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181a0365b
Original Articles

Objective: To describe physical symptoms in those local residents, local workers, and cleanup workers who were enrolled in a treatment program and had reported symptoms and exposure to the dust, gas, and fumes released with the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001.

Methods: Symptomatic individuals underwent standardized evaluation and subsequent treatment.

Results: One thousand eight hundred ninety-eight individuals participated in the WTC Environmental Health Center between September 2005 and May 2008. Upper and lower respiratory symptoms that began after September 11, 2001 and persisted at the time of examination were common in each exposure population. Many (31%) had spirometry measurements below the lower limit of normal.

Conclusions: Residents and local workers as well as those with work-associated exposure to WTC dust have new and persistent respiratory symptoms with lung function abnormalities 5 or more years after the WTC destruction.

From the Department of Medicine (Dr Reibman, Dr Rogers, Dr Lau, Dr Berger, Dr Goldring, Dr Fernandez-Beros, Dr Tonorezos, Dr Caplan-Shaw, Dr Gonzalez, Dr Filner, Mr Walter, Mr Kyng, Dr Rom); Department of Environmental Medicine (Dr Liu, Dr Cheng, Dr Marmor), New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY; and Department of Medicine (Dr Liautaud), Tufts University School of Medicine, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass.

CME Available for this Article at

Joan Reibman and coauthors have no commercial interest related to this research.

Address correspondence to: Joan Reibman, MD, New York University School of Medicine, 550 1st Avenue, Bellevue Hospital 7N24, New York, NY 10011; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine