9/11 responders: Include neuropathy in Zadroga Act
First responders to the Sept. 11 attacks at the World Trade Center are 15 times more likely to develop neuropathy than others, according to a study conducted by doctors at Winthrop University Hospital.
Responders have described neuropathy, or nerve damage, as painful, burning and numbness in arms, hands, feet and legs.
Neuropathy is not currently covered by the Zadroga Act.
"We got a bill passed, and we have 75 years to get it right," says John Feal, of the Feal Good Foundation.
Congress voted late last year to extend the measure, which provides Sept. 11 survivors with more than $3 billion for health care and more than $4 billion in victim compensation through 2090.
There's a petition process in place to get new illnesses added for health coverage. An advisory committee looks at any medical studies and data presented with a petition, and then votes. Ultimately, the decision to add neuropathy to the Zadroga Act is up to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.