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WTC 9/11 Response


NIEHS Response to the World Trade Center


The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York City’s World Trade Center resulted in intense fires, and the subsequent collapse of the structures released tons of dust on lower Manhattan. The National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Education Training Program (WETP) responded immediately, delivering 3,000 respirators to the site and providing expert support to coordinate occupational health issues during the recovery and cleanup processes. NIEHS supported researchers were also on-site, collecting environmental and air samples shortly after the disaster. NIEHS has launched a website that details the research and training activities of grantees that were funded to address immediate and long-term worker and community health issues arising from the World Trade Center (WTC) attacks. $6 million in WTC supplemental grants were awarded to current WETP grantees, with $4.5 million going to current SBRP grantees.

View the NIEHS WTC Response Brochure Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(550 KB) to read about NIEHS WTC activities in more detail.


NIEHS Reports


NIEHS WETP Response to the World Trade Center (WTC) Disaster: Initial WETP Grantee Response and Preliminary Assessment of Training Needs Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(1.54 MB) This press release produced by the NIEHS WETP National Clearinghouse discusses the initial training needs identified by NIEHS WETP and WETP grantees.

NIEHS Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Training Priorities for Emergency Responders and Remediation Workers in the Aftermath of the WTC Terrorist Attack Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(72 KB) This document identifies the NIEHS hazmat training priorities as follows: 1) immediate re-estabishment of training capacity for the NYC Fire Department (FDNY) HazMat teams; 2) health and safety training for site cleanup workers in WTC/Ground Zero; 3) health care and hospital personnel training to support ongoing cleanup and remediation efforts at WTC; 4)training and Certification in the Use of Personnel Protection Equipment in the Cleanup Effort; 5) Weapons of Mass Destruction Training (WMD/T) for the HAZMAT and Hazwoper Workforce in all Chemical Operations; and 6) Cross Training in Craft Skills and Safety/Health for WTC Demolition and Remediation Workers.


Reports Produced by Government and Non-Government Agencies


Brownfields Conference Report - WTC Impact Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(56 KB) This brief was produced following the 2001 Brownfields Conference to discuss the effects 9/11 had on the conference and its attendees.

Recommendations from Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM): 9/11 Related Health Issues for the General Public in NYC ( Exit NIEHS Website This webpage provides updates on the MSSM Department of Community and Preventive Medicine's activities and publications surrounding the 9/11 related health issues for the general public.

Recommendations from Mount Sinai School of Medicine: Health Issues for Site Workers in WTC Cleanup ( Exit NIEHS Website This webpage serves as a factsheet for workers on the effects of WTC health issues for workers involved in the site cleanup. The factsheet also provides information on how workers can protect themselves when working on the WTC site.

Worker Health Implications from World Trade Center Site Download Adobe Acrobat Reader (88 KB) Dr. David Prezant and other medical professionals discuss the "World Trade Center Cough" fire fighters are experiencing as a result of responding to the 9/11 Terrorist Attack.


Notes from Ground Zero


The following documents briefly describe the impact of 9/11 on several organizations involved in hazardous waste worker and emergency response worker training and safety, as well as their roles in the response and cleanup efforts.

California/Arizona Consortium Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(28 KB) Document describes the activities of trainers from the California/Arizona Consortium during the 9/11 cleanup.

George Meany Center for Labor Studies Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(31 KB) Document describes the experiences of workers and trainers from the Transportation Worker's Union in 9/11 cleanup activities.

International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(60 KB) Document provides an overview of the IUOE Air Sampling Study conducted during the 9/11 cleanup operations.

International Union of Operating Engineers Air Quality Presentation Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(108 KB) A powerpoint presentation of the IUOE Air Sampling Study results.

Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Workers Training Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(29 KB) Document describes the training activities of consortium members during the 9/11 cleanup.

University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(29 KB) Document describes UAB's instructor's involvement in the Disaster Medicine Assistance Team.


Photographs from Ground Zero


Photographs from Ground Zero Download photograph files from Ground Zero produced by photographer Earl Dotter.




Relevant NIEHS Training Courses for WTC Cleanup Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(45 KB) This document provides a list of recommended training courses for workers that will be involved in the WTC clean up.

Other Useful Resources


911 ASH Air Safety Hazards Resource ( Exit NIEHS Website 9/11 Air Safety Hazards (ASH) has created a website on issues surrounding the toxins and environmental hazards stemming from the WTC disaster.

Annexes to the Federal Response Plan ( Exit NIEHS Website
The Occupational Safety and Health Annex provides guidelines to minimize the risk of injury or illness to federally deployed personnel who are involved in disaster response, recovery, or mitigation operations.

Equipment Providers Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(31 KB) This weblink provides a list of safety equipment providers.

EPA Response to September 11 ( Exit NIEHS Website This webpage provides information on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WTC cleanup and monitoring activities.

Information on OSHA Activities at the WTC Site ( Exit NIEHS Website Webpage provides updates on OSHA activities at the WTC site. Also provides publications produced by OSHA on WTC worker safety and health issues.

NYCOSH World Trade Center Catastrophe Safety and Health Links Archive ( Exit NIEHS Website This webpage provides access to the September-November 2001 archive for the New York Committe for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH).

US Army Corps of Engineers WTC Ground Zero Coverage ( Exit NIEHS Website The United States Army Corps of Engineers supports the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the nation in the disaster recovery mission in New York City through the execution of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Emergency Support Function #3, Public Works and Engineering mission. This page provides regular updates on their efforts.

U.S. DHHS Fact Sheet on WTC Dust and Debris ( Exit NIEHS Website This fact sheet produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) describes possible health hazards posed by the dust and debris from the World Trade Center's (WTC) burning and collapse.

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Last Reviewed: 12 March 2008