N.Y. Rescue Workers Move to Sue Over Respiratory Damage
Over 1,300 firefighters and other rescue workers have given legal notice that they may sue New York City for respiratory and cardiopulmonary conditions resulting from exposure to irritants, carcinogens and toxins while working at the World Trade Center site. The claims allege that the city is guilty of negligence and reckless endangerment for failing to provide the workers with adequate ventilation equipment to protect them from the substances in the smoke and dust of ground zero. The paper masks and infrequently changed ventilator cartridges that many workers say they were provided with would have been insufficient protection against silica dust, asbestos fibers, and chemical vapors they were exposed to, and would explain high incidences of irritant asthma, silicosis, asbestosis, pulmonary infection and decreased lung capacity.