WTC Medical Monitoring Program advocated as model for future disasters
By Inside OSHA
A leader of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program is advocating a nationwide version of the plan that could be used for any declared disaster. David Prezant made the pitch at a recent International Association of Fire Fighter's (IAFF) legislative conference.
The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and other national disasters that call on first responders to spend extended periods of time in hazardous areas has increased concern in the first responder community about the risks of long-term exposure to dangerous toxins. Other than the WTC program, Prezant notes, there is no national medical monitoring program in place, which he says limits the ability of medical personnel looking after first responders to perform timely medical checks before, during and after exposure. If a medical monitoring program is not in place beforehand, Prezant argued, any monitoring efforts will not be comprehensive.