Should Cancer Victims Be Eligible For 9/11 Money?


Congress approved $2.78 billion as compensation for persons exposed to ground zero toxins during the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Towers. Certain respiratory ailments, such as asthma, have been linked by scientists to the dust and soot that was inhaled by workers during the cleanup. A number of the rescue and recovery workers have been diagnosed with cancer and they are seeking compensation from the almost $3 billion 9/11 fund.

The question is whether cancer victims should be eligible to be compensated. So far, scientists say that there is no link between the airborne ground zero toxins and cancer, although there are theories that the soot in the air might have triggered cancer in some cases.

The job of determinign who qualifies for compensation from the fund falls on the program’s special master who has not been appointed. The special master will determine how the funds are distributed and will be guided by rules made by the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hold the boat, I say! Before everyone jumps to conclusions, let’s get all of the facts and put science on our side. If there is conclusive scientific research indicating that the soot and airborne toxins do not cause cancer, then (as hard and cruel as this may seem) the cancer victims should not be compensated. If, on the other hand, there is a scientific link between the toxins and cancer, albeit even a tenuous one, let’s make sure the special master takes that into consideration in reaching conclusions as to whether cancer victims can share in the 9/11 funds.