When the planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, federal law enforcement officer Raymond Gauvin followed his training without hesitation. His office, at 26 Federal Plaza, was less than a mile from the site. He arrived to help rescue people from the rubble within minutes.
“I would have never guessed there would be consequences medically, later on,” Gauvin says.
Twenty years later, Gauvin has suffered from bladder cancer, inflammation in his nose, acid reflux, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All of these health impacts—along with other cancers, respiratory diseases, and mental health conditions—are especially common among the first responders and survivors who worked at the World Trade Center site, both on September 11 and in the months of clean up afterward.
Through treating and studying these patients for two decades, clinicians have identified previously unknown connections between pollution exposure and numerous health conditions. Continued research will further