WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- The federal government says thousands of first responders may have been exposed to cancer-causing toxins when they rushed to ground zero to help after the September 11 attacks.
In the years since the 2001 World Trade Center attacks, many first responders argued that toxins from the rubble gave them cancer and they say the government ignored them.
Federal officials argued there was no proof that there was any connection between the air at ground zero and cancer. But now, based on evidence, the federal government announced that about 50 new cancers will be covered by a $2.77 billion dollar settlement fund set up for victims.
"The first responders who were there for us, we're now going to be there for them," said Michael Barasch, the attorney for First Responders and Residents. "We're going to compensate them and help provide treatment."
The first responders compensation fund went into effect last year. No additional funds are expected to go into it even with this cancer announcement unless congress puts in more money.
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