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WTC Related Symptoms and Causes

About WTC Related Conditions

Many thousands of rescue, recovery and clean-up workers, as well as volunteers, were exposed to the hazardous fumes at Ground Zero (as the site has come to be known) during the days and months after the Sept. 11 attacks. Some of the most common 9/11-related illnesses suffered by those exposed are respiratory ailments, digestive disorders and mental health conditions.

WTC-Related Conditions: Symptoms

Symptoms of sinus ailments may include:

  • Persistent runny nose
  • Recurrent sinus infections
  • Persistent sinus congestion
  • Chronic post-nasal drip

Symptoms of respiratory ailments may include:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Chest tightness
  • Abnormal breathing pattern

Symptoms of digestive disorders may include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Acid regurgitation
  • Heartburn
  • Cough (worsens with meals or at night)

Symptoms of mental health conditions may include:

  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Irritability/outbursts of anger
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Feelings of isolation/suicidal thoughts

WTC-Related Conditions: Causes

The impact of the planes on the WTC towers caused thousands of tons of toxic debris--including known carcinogens (cancer causing agents)--to become airborne, resulting in many debilitating illnesses among those who were exposed.

For more information, contact the Queens Clinical Center of Excellence at 718-267-2420; WTC Health Program at 1-888-WTC-HP4U (1-888-982-4748); or www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/wtc/.

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