In a press release issued on February 12, the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) demanded that the City of New York immediately release World Trade Center (WTC) cancer data. Officer Alonzo Harris, who worked for 700 hours during the rescue, recovery, and cleanup of the WTC, had sent the uniform he wore on 9/11 and sealed in plastic on that date, to RJ Lee Group, an industrial forensics laboratory in Monroeville, Pa., for analysis of the dust clinging to it. The uniform was found to be covered with dangerous carcinogens and toxins. Dr. Richard J. Lee, company CEO, said: “The chemicals found in the WTC Dust can each, at sufficient exposure levels, cause various harmful effects on the body, including direct irritation of tissues of the eyes, nasal passages and bronchial tubes in the lungs, and after absorption into the body, effects on the nervous system and kidneys, and various types of cancer.”
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch called on the City to provide the rate of cancer occurrences among police officers so that the Federal government can have this critical information while it considers adding cancer to the list of illnesses covered in legislation enacted last year. State Senator Diane J. Savino said: “We are calling on the City of New York to allow Mt. Sinai Medical Center access to the list of police officers who worked at Ground Zero the days and months after the attack. These data could help those members of New York’s Finest finally get the help they need from the Federal government.” PBA president Patrick J. Lynch extended the gratitude of his 23,000 members to Assemblyman Micah Kellner and Senator Savino for drafting this important legislation and to Dr. Richard Lee, a nationally recognized forensics expert, for the support of RJ Lee Group.