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J Asthma. 2007 May;44(4):325-32.

Reported respiratory symptoms and adverse home conditions after 9/11 among residents living near the World Trade Center.

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  • 1Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health, Troy, New York 12180, USA.


This study investigated whether self-reported damage, dust, and odors in homes near the World Trade Center (WTC) after September 11, 2001, were related to increased rates of respiratory symptoms among residents and if multiple sources of exposure were associated with greater health risk. We mailed questionnaires to homes within 1.5 km of the WTC site (affected area) and in upper Manhattan (control area). Surveys asked about respiratory symptoms, unplanned medical visits, physician diagnoses, medication use, and conditions in the home after 9/11. Adverse home conditions were associated with new-onset (i.e., began after 9/11) and persistent (i.e., remained 1 year after 9/11) upper and lower respiratory symptoms in the affected area (Cumulative Incidence Ratios [CIRs] 1.20-1.71). Residents reporting longer duration of dust/odors or multiple sources of exposure had greater risk for symptoms compared to those reporting shorter duration and fewer sources. These data suggest that WTC-related contamination in the home after 9/11 was associated with new and persistent respiratory symptoms among residents living near the site. While we cannot eliminate potential biases related to self-reported data, we took strategies to minimize their impact, and the observed effects are biologically plausible.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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