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Study: 9/11 Workers Suffering Severe Mental Health Problems
Many suffering mental disorders at levels comparable with war veterans

Steve Watson
day, May 23, 2008


A new study contends that 9/11 rescue workers are suffering psychological distress at levels far in advance of the general population, even six and half years on from the events.

As reported by HealthDay News, The study was based on the analysis of questionnaires completed by more than 10,000 World Trade Center recovery workers between 10 months and 61 months after the events of 9/11.

It found that 11.1 percent of the workers met criteria for probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 8.8 percent had probable depression, 5 percent had probable panic disorder, and 62 percent had substantial stress reaction.

The study, which was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, was authored by Dr. Dennis Charney, dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and executive vice president for academic affairs at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Dr. Jeanne Mager Stellman, visiting professor at Mount Sinai.

"Many who worked at Ground Zero in the early days after the attacks have sustained serious and long lasting physical and mental health problems. This study scientifically confirms high rates of mental health issues in a large number of responders," Dr. Dennis Charney said.

"The levels of PTSD prevalence (in the WTC workers) are comparable to those seen in returning Afghanistan war veterans and are much higher than in the U.S. general population and consistent with the mental health problems in the WTTC Health Registry," Dr. Jeanne Mager Stellman said.

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Mount Sinai has consistently been at the forefront of research into the health effects of the 2001 attacks. A recent study by the Medical Center revealed that out of 70,000 participants, 85 percent are suffering some kind of respiratory problem.

A previous study in 2006 by the medical center also found that of of 9,442 workers, 70% suffer breathing problems. This was also the figure gleaned from a further study in 2007.

Though the center's figures have been criticized and questioned by some, they are the only real source to go given that the city, state and federal governments did not engage in any form of research into or treatment of 9/11 related illnesses for some time after the attacks, and still have not set about a truly committed program to do so.

Mount Sinai also remains committed to offering a range of medical and mental health programs for 9/11 responders and anyone else affected by the attacks, despite the consistent slashing of funds and attempts to block funding efforts by the federal government.

The physical deterioration of 9/11 rescue workers, and the battle to have this recognized by a government that refuses to admit culpability, has been well documented. Less so has the mental impact responders, and non responders alike, are facing.

Back in February, research revealed that the spectacular images broadcast around the world on September 11th 2001 have had a profound psychological impact upon people, leading to more vivid and intense dreams, prompting the author of the study to suggest that everyone who witnessed the attacks has experienced some sort of trauma or emotional arousal.

A University of California August 2002 study revealed that people continued to experience high levels of distress almost one year after the attacks. Other studies revealed similar results, even up to the present day in 2008.

Another Mount Sinai Hospital School of Medicine study found that 200 pregnant women who survived or were nearby when the World Trade Center towers collapsed passed on "markers" of post-traumatic stress disorder to their unborn babies.

Researchers within the 9/11 truth movement have previously suggested that attacks appeared to be engineered to maximize the psychological impact on Americans, while limiting the fatalities to a few thousand individuals.

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