May 24, 2007

Dust and death.

Americans are still dying from the 9/11 attacks.

21 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

I can already see the Moore sequel. Sicko II the North Korean Cure.

Sigivald said...

Let me abuse this opportunity to reveal my Most Significant Times Peeve.

That farkin' stupid and farkin' annoying "you selected a word, so I'm going to pop up a window with its definition" behaviour.

Perhaps the Times simply assumes that everyone reading their website is illiterate, but Christ, do they need to inflict that on everyone?

Would it kill them to have a "show definition" button somewhere to do that on the rare, rare occasions someone wants it, rather than annoy everyone that ever highlights a word to, say, keep their place when changing tasks?

Doesn't their ridiculous budget and money-pit attitude include hiring a Human Interface guy?

Thank you, rant now concludes.

AJD said...

"Americans are still dying," Althouse claims by linking to an article abour a death more than FIVE YEARS AGO.

Really professor, you should read the article before you create a link.

Cedarford said...

The woman involved was a city resident with a history of pulmonary problems that was exposed to dust from the collapsing WTC buildings. Along with 250,000 other people. She died in early 2002.

Her family had a good ambulance chaser after the 2.6 million pot of gold from the richly endowed (by us in a national moment of over-compassion) 9/11 Victim's Compensation Fund. The lawyer got the medical examiner to rule that the WTC dust exposure was "contributory" and list her among the "Official 9/11 victims" - and the pot of gold, 2.6 million, was handed over to lawyer and family.

Thousands of "hero city employees" cops, firefighters - are taking in full and partial line of duty disability for "serious respiratory problems". Many can barely play 36 holes of golf in Florida....

Amazingly, the 9/11 site ironworkers, equipment operators, debris truckers, and engineers without the full pay, lifetime free medical care, disability scholarships available to government employees have much healthier lungs and less complaints - for some reason.

Same pattern in countries that had to clear and rebuild whole cities after WWII. Magically, those government employees able to get pensioned out reported far more rubble cleanup health problems than the ordinary private worker...

A pattern not seen, strangely enough, in those construction outfits crews that have 5-40 years of "dust exposure" going around the country doing building demolition. Blowing up, then cleaning up, various other skyscrapers and large buildings.

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Sigivald said...
Let me abuse this opportunity to reveal my Most Significant Times Peeve.


Well, compared to your pet peeve, my peeve at the NYTimes likely is insignificant, but here it is:

The NYTimes shapes the news to fit it's agenda and metanarratives. The story of the 2.6 million awarded to a women exposed to 9/11 dust fits the larger NYTimes theme that the evil Bush-Hitler and Christie Todd, the She Devil Wolf of the SS-EPA deliberately sent "heroes" into harms way in the toxic witches brew of New Orleans...err...sorry, the Sacred Pit of the Fallen...Rushed, rushed into the job from a mistaken sense of pressure that the place had to be cleaned up, and as the Times said - do the critically important job of identifying "remains of the heroes" so "The Victim Families" could have Closure.

Bush-Hitler and She-Devil did it with no regard for the delicate lungs of the respirator-distaining city employees! And more billions are needed from cheapskate Federal taxpayers!!

Eli Blake said...

ajd,

Perhaps, but Americans are still dying from the dust whether it was five years ago or today. If you don't believe it, wait until Sicko opens in theaters. Whether you agree with Michael Moore about how unaffordable health care has become in America or not, and whether you agree he should have taken them to Cuba for treatment or not, you'll have a tough time denying the reality of the situation and the people involved.

Ann Althouse said...

"read the article"

"the growing number of illnesses and deaths linked in some way to ground zero"

blake said...

Eli,

I used to be a fan of Moore until his series "TV Nation". He had an episode featuring a hospital where people who had received treatment were allowed to work off their bills if they couldn't afford it.

The people at the hospital were so nice to him. They were good people who had found a solution to a difficult problem that didn't involve any cumbersome bureaucracy. Everyone involved had exercised personal choice.

Moore set up a "hospital" across the way where payment for treatment was mocked up as slavery. He was comparing the people who had chosen this option to slaves, and the hospital to slave-traders.

It was such a gross betrayal of basic human decency, it completely turned me off him.

Eli Blake said...

blake,

I understand what you are saying (in fact that is very much the way our church conducts its welfare system, and the way the New Deal ran-- people didn't get free money, what they got was a government job.)

The problem I have with what you are describing is that it does reek of indentured servitude or debtors colonies-- the people in question aren't being asked to work for payment they receive today, but to work off a debt incurred in the past, and likely in the context of something that they couldn't do without at the time (health care is different from most commodities in that when you need it, you usually really do need it, not just desire or would benefit from having it.)

I know what you are saying that Moore may have misrepresented their system (and of course the alternative is to still have the big bill) but in general if you ask me to perform some work for pay (or food) today, then I can either say it is worth what you are offering, or decline. In contrast, a labor system in which you are obligated to perform duties this year in return for something you received last year (when no one could necessarily exactly describe this year's work) still feels morally questionable to me. It was of course quite common in the middle ages and even into the 1800's but there is a reason why papers of indenturement are no longer acceptable.

blake said...

Eli,

Fair point, but the people at the hospital were already required by law to provide a service, too, yes? And the people there weren't required to work off the debt by law, though there may well have been some negative consequences in not doing so (e.g., bad credit).

In any event, it wasn't the merits of the system which drew my ire, it was Moore's treatment of people. I have friends all over the political map, and they're friends because we agree on how people should treat each other.

Moore dehumanizes people who disagree with him: They're either stooges or villains. And it's not just in his movies.

Revenant said...

the people in question aren't being asked to work for payment they receive today, but to work off a debt incurred in the past

Everyone with a mortgage is working to pay off a debt incurred in the past.

Anthony said...

"the growing number of illnesses and deaths linked in some way to ground zero"

Which means precisely nothing in any sort of clinical sense.

John Stodder said...

Exposure to asbestos is generally the cause of mesothelioma, a basically incurable cancer of the lining around the lung or the stomach. While most mesothelioma cases worked around asbestos for a significant period, it only takes a single fiber getting lodged in the mesothelial tissue to start the process. The cancer can take decades to form.

So, among those 250,000, there will be many -- the vast majority -- who will have never worked around asbestos. Of those, any cases of mesothelioma that are diagnosed 20 or 30 years from now are presumptively the result of the WTC bombing.

Ann Althouse said...

Watching the towers fall on 9/11, seeing that cloud of dust, I said out loud, "That's full of asbestos." I had the picture of everyone who was breathing that dying. Of course, people are dying right now of it. You may not know who, but it is surely the case.

Der Hahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave F said...

I lived a block and a half south of Ground Zero, and the building I lived in sustained only minor cosmetic damage due to the Deutsche Bank building bearing the brunt of the collapse.

As I recall, I was able to get back into my building on Sept. 23, 2001 (my building was right on the border of the so-called hot zone that was off limits for 6 months.)

I witnessed, daily, police escorts when human remains were recovered and removed from the site.

The only thing I noticed about the air was an acrid smell. I had no respiratory problems then and have none now.

My guess is my experience is as anomalous as this woman's; that is, my guess is every person reacts differently to environmental contaminants. What I would like to understand, and what I have not seen reported, is to what extent prior medical conditions or lifestyle choices contributed to this woman's illness.

Finally, in fairness to those who claim that there is necessarily a link between exposure to the air at Ground Zero and respiratory illness, I should note that I was in midtown during that attack and this woman was right there.

Dave F said...

I should also note that thousands of other people who were at the site and its immediate environs either have not become sick as a result or else have become sick but have remained unrecorded by the public health officials and/or activists claiming widespread disease.

Finally, for a few years after the attacks, the NYC Department of Health hounded me with questionnaires asking about my health. Stupidly I put my phone number on one of the questionnaires, and, a week or so later, received from some lady an odd phone call, in which she essentially implied that I was lying about my lack of illness.

Suffice it to say, my skepticism about medical claims, public health officials, activists, epidemiologists, et cetera, et cetera, has increased.

Your mileage may vary as they say.

Bissage said...

"A jury is a hell of a thing."

-- Bissage

Cedarford said...

Watching the towers fall on 9/11, seeing that cloud of dust, I said out loud, "That's full of asbestos."

That was about the last thing on my mind as I watched the replays after work.
I was thinking Muslims and nuclear craters in Camel Land, mostly.

I had the picture of everyone who was breathing that dying. Of course, people are dying right now of it. You may not know who, but it is surely the case.

You can be sure that few will die. We know that from all the cleanup of asbestos-laden rubble after WWII from Coventry all the way over to Stalingrad.
Every evironmental factor has risk. Drinking too much water can cause several diseases including nephritis. Flying will cause more cancers from increased rad exposure. Same with living in thorium-radon rich rock and soil of the Rockies, New England, Missouri-Tennessee Belt.

A few more die of dust? Too bad. That's what happens. Can't exactly abandon a big chunk of a major city and leave a pile of rubble full of dead bodies and pieces because "it might no be perfectly healthy to clean it up".

Though if you establish a pot of gold that waits anyone with a good lawyer and doctor, or say that the American taxpayer will set any "hero" who refused to wear a dust mask up for life, they will come.

Davef - The only thing I noticed about the air was an acrid smell. I had no respiratory problems then and have none now.
That's what I noticed when I visited 3 weeks afterward to go to a meeting. Acrid smell, no dust, (I had to look for some because my nephew begged me to get a baggie full as a keepsake). And lots of overbearing, officious people yelling at workers to turn around, asking what your business was, telling you to take another street, stand at attention because "A fallen brother is being recovered". Quite a mess. But I had no fear for my health..

John Stodder said...

You can be sure that few will die. We know that from all the cleanup of asbestos-laden rubble after WWII from Coventry all the way over to Stalingrad.

The key word in this sentence is "few." Granted, only a small percentage of those exposed to asbestos contract an asbestos-related illness. Moreover, asbestosis is unlikely to form based on a one-time exposure. But a single fiber inhaled can cause mesothelioma. If the fiber makes its way to the pleural lining of the lungs, stomach or heart, it's just a matter of time before the disease begins. Its progress is slow, and surely many outlive the process of its formation. But once it's diagnosed, it's almost always fatal.

Der Hahn said...

If someone was run over by a fire truck racing to the towers (I've never heard anyone was), should their death be 'linked to ground zero'? How about accidents on the LIE on 9/11 caused by distracted drivers? How about traffic deaths anywhere in the US on 9/11?

Sometimes you're just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

hdhouse said...

Ceaderford...Ann Althouse is right in her observation. You are not. It is that simple.

You flatly ignore that the EPA both the federal and local - particularly NYC under Herr Mayor Guliani made light of the health risk in the fumes from the fires after the collapse. Christy Whittman said officially that the EPA tested and there was 'no danger'. Those statements were lies as the data clearly showed otherwise. data that was surpressed.

That gave the "ambulance chaser" a leg up where perhaps there wouldn't have been. Now there will be many others who have rightfully seen their way through.

Obviously you have never seen ground zero - even today, all cleared away. You didn't see the people covered in that dust. You didn't smell the disaster after a 60 mile train ride . the same smell that was in nyc constantly for months...but you could smell it 60 miles away if the wind was right..

you have displayed what could be portrayed as the worst of the human spirit.."strictly evil" as one might say. and having a father in law die in 6 weeks when mesothelioma got going full bore. i would ask that you don't make light of the potentials.