Characteristics of a residential and working community with diverse exposure to World Trade Center dust, gas, and fumes

J Occup Environ Med. 2009 May;51(5):534-41. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181a0365b.


Objective: To describe physical symptoms in those local residents, local workers, and cleanup workers who were enrolled in a treatment program and had reported symptoms and exposure to the dust, gas, and fumes released with the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001.

Methods: Symptomatic individuals underwent standardized evaluation and subsequent treatment.

Results: One thousand eight hundred ninety-eight individuals participated in the WTC Environmental Health Center between September 2005 and May 2008. Upper and lower respiratory symptoms that began after September 11, 2001 and persisted at the time of examination were common in each exposure population. Many (31%) had spirometry measurements below the lower limit of normal.

Conclusions: Residents and local workers as well as those with work-associated exposure to WTC dust have new and persistent respiratory symptoms with lung function abnormalities 5 or more years after the WTC destruction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Dust
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Gases / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Respiration Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Respiration Disorders / etiology*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • September 11 Terrorist Attacks
  • Spirometry
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Air Pollutants
  • Dust
  • Gases