NEW YORK - On the eve of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, federal officials announced that first responders who worked at the World Trade Center site and developed certain forms of cancer will receive health coverage and compensation.
The Zadroga Act, named for a police officer who died of a respiratory illness, has provided health care coverage for responders with certain illnesses that have been linked to the toxic dust that coated the site. Now, the legislation will cover about 50 types of cancer.
First responders and their families are heralding the move as a big step in the right direction. Babylon resident and retired city firefighter Jeff Stroehline, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last March, says it's long overdue.
Still, some say the Zadroga Act still doesn't go far enough. There are many other types of cancer that remain excluded.
According to federal officials, the additions to the list of covered illnesses will take effect in 30 days. After that, first responders must get their diseases certified as WTC-related health conditions.