WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) made the following statement today as the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act” goes into effect.  The new law provides monitoring and treatment for individuals who face life-threatening health effects as a result of exposure to environmental toxins from the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.

“In 2001, we witnessed a terrible national tragedy, and our country vowed to stand by our first responders,” Senator Lautenberg said. “These rescue workers came from New Jersey and across the country to do one simple thing – help their fellow Americans recover from a catastrophe.  Many of these brave men and women became sick because of the toxic conditions at Ground Zero, and the Zadroga law makes certain that these heroes get the health benefits they need.  We have to honor first responders in the same way we honor our veterans, and this law is a step in the right direction.”

Nearly 14,000 workers and 2,400 community residents are sick from being exposed to toxic dust at Ground Zero.  An additional 70,000 people, including 8,000 New Jerseyans, are being monitored for health effects.

The Zadroga Act was approved in the Senate on December 22, 2010, and signed into law by the President on January 2, 2011.