Ground Zero Toxic Death Fumes Covered Up From Day One
Government Officials and agencies knowingly exposed 9/11 rescuers to deadly air and then tried to cover it up

Steve Watson / Infowars | September 8 2006

A spate of stories have emerged in the mainstream media this week concerning the fact that government officials knew that rescue workers at ground zero in New York were being exposed to harmful and deadly toxins in the aftermath of the attacks on 9/11.

This information has been known for years and it is yet again indicative of the massive steps forward that the 9/11 truth movement has made over the past year that it is now getting full coverage in the mainstream.

Of course not all the reports make it clear enough just how criminally responsible the government is on this issue.

Not only did the government know on the day itself that rescuers were being exposed to harmful dust, they also ordered misleading information to be given to the public, they ordered scientific research results on the air to be falsified, they allowed residents to return to their homes in the immediate vicinity knowing the air was corrosive and lethal and, to top it all off, they have since embarked on a collective program to block compensation and funding of health programs because that would be an admission of guilt.

“Only 30 percent of the firefighters working at the site in October were wearing any protection at all,” according to Thomas Cahill, professor of physics and atmospheric sciences, who was called in to analyze the air from a station one mile north of the burning WTC rubble.

"You had the workers working on top of a huge incinerator in the rush to get Wall Street going again, it was really dumb." Cahill said.

Ground zero workers, volunteers and firefighters have since suffered from lung diseases and cancers, many have died. The New York Times reported earlier this year that the Fire Department tracked a startling increase in cases of a particular lung scarring disease, known as sarcoidosis, among firefighters, which rose to five times the expected rate in the two years after Sept. 11.

The latest study, by the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, has revealed that nearly 70 percent of the rescue workers who toiled in the dust and fumes at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks suffer breathing problems.

The study was based on detailed examinations of 9,442 of the estimated 40,000 Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers between July 2002 and April 2004.

Add to this the fact that the Government ordered the EPA to give the public misleading information, telling New Yorkers on September 12 it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available and Asbestos levels were known to be three times higher than national standards.

Further documents have since been obtained by CBS news, revealing that Lower Manhattan was reopened a few weeks following the attack even though the air was not safe.

The two devastating memos, written by the U.S. and local governments, show they knew. They knew the toxic soup created at Ground Zero was a deadly health hazard. Yet they sent workers into the pit and people back into their homes.

"Not only did they know it was unsafe, they didn't heed the words of more experienced people that worked for the city and E.P.A.," said Joel Kupferman, with the group Environmental Justice Project.

Last month Dr. Cate Jenkins, a scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, wrote a letter to Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and other members of the New York congressional delegation blasting the EPA for hiding dangerous toxins from Ground Zero workers in the aftermath of 9/11.

The Letter claimed that EPA-funded research on the toxicity of breathable alkaline dust at the site “falsified pH results” to make the substance appear benign, when it was, in reality, corrosive enough to cause first responders and other workers in lower Manhattan to later lose pulmonary functions and, in some cases, to die.

Jenkins wrote:

"These falsifications directly contributed not only to emergency personnel and citizens not taking adequate precautions to prevent exposures, but also prevented the subsequent correct diagnosis of the causative agents responsible for the pulmonary symptoms. Thus, appropriate treatment was prevented or misdirected, and loss of life and permanent disability undoubtedly resulted."

The website Raw Story obtained the entire letter which can be viewed here.

Ground Zero worker Sgt. Matthew Tartaglia revealed in an interview with Alex Jones on March 30 2005, that there were only certain parts of the site that you could not legally leave without going through decontamination. He recounted the personal health problems he and many other workers have since suffered:

Most everybody has chronic sinusitis. They have ringing in the ears. Some people’s teeth and gums are bothering them. In the last year, I’ve lost seven teeth. They have just broken while I was eating. I have three or four more teeth that are just dying. And my dentist says, “I’ve never seen anything like this in someone who’s healthy. There is something wrong with you but I cannot find what it is. And I can’t stop it either.”

The New York Times reported in 2004 that the Bush Administration is PURPOSEFULLY blocking millions in health compensation programs for ground zero workers and attempting to stonewall the issue because to do otherwise would be an admission of responsibility for exposure to harmful substances after the government had already given the all clear.

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Standard procedure protocols of both FEMA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), both on the scene at the Pentagon and the WTC on 9/11, indicate that it is routine for workers to undergo extensive protective and decontamination processes at any large scale disaster area, particularly if it is considered to be a crime scene, and certainly if it is an act of terrorism.

By noon on September 11, an EPA Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent was on the scene at the Pentagon, providing emergency response investigative support and facilitating site safety for EPA Region 3 Emergency Response personnel and the FBI. On September 12, the FBI declared the Pentagon a crime scene, and EPA Special Agents were on the scene assisting in decontamination, gathering crime scene evidence (photography, videotaping, evidence gathering, etc.) and supplying other investigative and technical support to the FBI. In addition, EPA Special Agents assisted with body recovery and site safety until September 27, when the agents departed after the FBI returned the site to the control of the Department of Defense and FEMA.

This explains why workers were suited and booted and being decontaminated at the Pentagon (above), however, if this is standard procedure, why is it that the rescue scene at ground zero in New York seems to have been much more casual? Workers there did not have protective suits, boots or full face masks, neither did they undergo decontamination, despite the fact that there was more destruction and more possibility of harmful dust, smoke and chemical inhalation.

There have been many reports on the health hazards in Manhattan following 9/11, however a 2004 report by the Sierra Club went further than previous reporting in detailing the cover-up of the public health hazards of Ground Zero. The report's summary indicates gross malfeasance by EPA, FEMA, and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA):

  • The Ground Zero health risk cover-up did not result from a poorly informed government. The World Trade Center attack involved the open, uncontrolled burning and demolition of two huge buildings - conduct that would be illegal in any state of the Union because of the known risks to human health. This report finds that the federal government ignored its own long-standing body of knowledge about pollution from incineration and demolition. The notion that EPA had to wait for test data before telling people that the pollution posed health risks is absurd. EPA should have issued a health warning, based on its own knowledge of pollution, before any test data came in.


  • EPA failed to investigate and disclose toxic hazards properly. Oddly, EPA's website reports that it found no polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) - cancer-causing chemicals generally released by combustion of mixed materials - "in any air samples," although four independent tests found them at elevated levels and even EPA's own research scientists reported in a scientific journal that they found them at levels that Science magazine deemed worthy of "the most serious kind of concern."


  • The federal government failed to change its safety assurances even after it became clear that people were getting ill, and even after a survey of federal employees of a sister agency in the same building as EPA at 290 Broadway revealed that they were suffering health impacts - a survey that, this report finds, the federal government did not release to the public at the time. It was quietly published in a journal in 2002.


  • Many Ground Zero workers did not have proper protection, especially in early weeks. This report explains that federal assurances of safety gave workers conflicting messages about the need for respirator masks, which are difficult and exhausting to wear.


  • OSHA refused to enforce worker safety standards at Ground Zero. It wrongly claimed that it had no authority in national emergencies. It then continued this refusal long after the emergency had passed, and long after it became apparent that serious health and safety risks were occurring despite efforts by OSHA staff to advise safety.


  • EPA and FEMA, in concert with New York City's own health department, told families that they could clean up the contaminated dust themselves with wet rags. In fact, they actually discouraged area residents from wearing safety masks.

Here we see workers in casual clothing and boots, some do not even have gloves on.

This is yet another reason why a true independent study needs to be undertaken to determine what really happened on 9/11 and who should be held accountable and brought to justice.

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