New York 9/11 first responder claims Ground Zero kidney damage

A retired New York Police Department officer recently participated in a medical study, which reported that workers with high exposure to particulate matter at the Ground Zero disaster site were significantly more prone to kidney damage. The 46-year-old woman was one of 183 first responders in the Mount Sinai study, some of whom may have sought workers' compensation. She said that she always gets tired now, and one can see illness in her swollen face and stomach.

One researcher for the WTC-CHEST Program at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital said that their study showed that first responders who had the greatest exposure to Ground Zero particulate matter had much greater levels of albumin in their urine than those responders with lower levels of exposure. Higher levels of the protein are considered an indicator of kidney damage.

Doctors hoped the study's findings would help as they tried to treat kidney damage in police officers and firefighters who worked in the dust at Ground Zero after the World Trade Center attack. They also were hopeful that the new information could help prevent serious cases that would require dialysis or a kidney transplant. The particulate matter in the air after 9/11 has already been found to be linked to heart and lung problems as well as a greater risk of cancer.

Ground Zero workers may be entitled to workers' compensation. An attorney with a background in fighting for work accident victims may be able to help first responders and others injured on the job. Legal professionals as well as law enforcement and rescue officials may be able to help in the investigation of a construction site accident to bring to light unsafe working conditions that might have led to injury.

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