New York: Firefighters, who worked in the wreckage of the Twin Towers in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks are more likely to develop cancer, a new study has said.
The study, led by chief medical officer for the New York Fire Department David Prezant, included 10,000 New York City firefighters who were exposed to caustic dust and smoke from working at the site.
It said these firefighters were 19 per cent more likely to develop cancer than those who were not there. The findings indicate an "increased likelihood for the development of any type of cancer," Prezant said.
The study published on Thursday in the British medical journal The Lancet is the largest assessment of cancer to date in firefighters who worked at ground zero.
The report studied cancer occurrence in nearly 10,000 male Fire Department personnel in the seven years after the 2001 attacks.
Out of them, 8,927 spent at least one day at the site in the 10 months after 9/11. Almost, all of those were exposed in the first two weeks after the attack.
In the exposed population, there were 263 cancer cases reflecting a cancer rate 19 percent higher than that of the group not exposed.
While the study established no link between exposure to the trade center site and particular cancers, there were indications that certain cancers including melanoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, thyroid and prostate cancer occurred more frequently among exposed firefighters than in the general population.
The cancer rate of the exposed group was only 10 per cent higher than that of American men in general. The group of firefighters who were not exposed had a lower rate than the general population, which the researchers said could be due to their overall physical fitness and low smoking rates.