NEW YORK (AP) – Federal officials say a health program for first responders and New Yorkers stricken by toxic dust unleashed in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center should be expanded to include 50 types of cancer.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health unveiled a proposal Friday for a major expansion of an existing 9/11 health program. The expansion would make affected workers and residents eligible for free treatment and potentially hefty compensation payments.
The decision follows a March recommendation by an advisory committee that cancer be added to the $4.3 billion program.
Previously, it has only covered people with a short list of less-serious ailments, including respiratory problems like asthma.
The expansion proposal will be open for public comment before it takes effect.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)