Tuesday, September 13, 2011

9/11 Emergency Workers and Increased Risk of Multiple Myeloma?

I recently came upon this article published on the Multiple Myeloma Reseach Foundation (MMRF) Blog. Interesting to say the least, showing that many sacrificed much more than we will ever know.

August 19, 2009- Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Blog

Perspective on 9/11 Emergency Workers and Increased Myeloma Risk, Anne Quinn Young, MPH

Over the last week, we have received many inquiries on the recent study “Multiple Myeloma in World Trade Center Responders: A Case Series” that indicates 9/11 emergency responders have an increased risk of developing multiple myeloma, a rare and fatal blood cancer. What this study shows is that out of more than 28,000 emergency workers who have been followed as part of a health monitoring program “9/11 WTC Health Registry“, eight cases of multiple myeloma were diagnosed. In the general population, six or seven cases would have been expected. Multiple myeloma in the general population is typically diagnosed in patients who are at least in their 60s, but in this population, four of the cases were in workers who were less than 45 years old - in the general population, only one case in such young patients would be expected.

All of this said, it is important to understand that follow-up of these workers is limited, and more data are needed to better understand whether there may be a causal link. However, because multiple myeloma has been linked to exposure to very high levels of extremely toxic chemicals like Agent Orange or high levels of radiation exposure from the atomic bomb explosions in Japan, it is unfortunately not surprising given that these workers were exposed to what has been called a “toxic chemical soup” “9/11 Responders May Be At Raised Myeloma Risk“, which included known carcinogens, for up to several months.


  1. Interesting since I was a volunteer firefighter for over 25 years and was diagnosed at 51. Those guys gave there all... So proud of my brothers...

  2. This just hurts my heart so much. They gave so much to our country and now are paying a hefty price. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I had no idea that this was happening. So sad.

  4. Whoa, I had no idea either. So sad...