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New York City Seal Press Release

New York City Department of Health
and Mental Hygiene

Office of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Sid Dinsay
Business Hours (212) 788-5290
After Business Hours (212) 764-7667
Tuesday, August 3, 2004
 

WORLD TRADE CENTER HEALTH REGISTRY TOPS 50,000 ENROLLEES

Only Four Weeks Left to Sign Up; Residents, Children, and Those Who Worked at WTC Site Are Urged to Enroll by Calling 1-866-NYC-WTCR

NEW YORK CITY - August 3, 2004 - More than 50,000 people from New York City and all 50 states have enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry, according to the City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), which today urged those who are eligible to sign up before the August 31st deadline. Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH also released the latest Registry quarterly report, which contains demographic data about enrollees as of July 2, 2004. As of August 1st, 51,025 people had enrolled in the Registry. The announcement was made at a press conference earlier today at Robert F. Wagner Park in Lower Manhattan.

"Enrolling 50,000 people in the World Trade Center Health Registry will make a lasting contribution to understanding and addressing the long-term health effects of 9/11" said Commissioner Frieden. "But the more people that enroll, the more comprehensive and accurate the Registry's findings will be. With just four weeks left in the registration period, people who were in the vicinity of the World Trade Center on September 11th are strongly encouraged to step forward and enroll - especially Manhattan residents south of Canal Street, workers at the WTC site, and students enrolled at schools south of Canal Street on September 11, 2001."

Joining Commissioner Frieden at the press conference were G. David Williamson, Director, Division of Health Studies at the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; Dr. Kelly Henning, Director of Epidemiology at DOHMH; Council Member Alan J. Gerson; Don Lee, downtown resident and member of the World Trade Center Health Registry Community Advisory Board (CAB); and other representatives from the CAB and DOHMH.

People can enroll in the Registry by calling 1-866-NYC-WTCR (1-866-692-9827) and answering a 30-minute survey over the phone. All information provided is strictly confidential. For more information on the Registry, New York City residents may call 311; people living outside New York City can call (212) NEW-YORK.

Dr. Williamson said, "Many people from beyond the New York City area were present in lower Manhattan on 9/11, or came to aid in the rescue, recovery, or clean-up efforts in the months following. With less than a month left, it is vitally important that all people who are eligible - even those who reside outside New York City - to enroll in the World Trade Center Health Registry."

Dr. Kelly Henning, Director of Epidemiology at DOHMH said, "We know that about a quarter of people who enrolled in the Registry waited one month or more before doing so. Today serves as a critical reminder to everyone who has contemplated signing up for the Registry- the August 31st deadline for signing up is fast approaching."

Don Lee said, "The World Trade Center Health Registry Community Advisory Board will actively promote enrollment during the next four weeks, and will also continue working with our City and federal partners to keep the downtown community informed of the Registry's future findings."

Registry staff are enrolling more than 1,200 people each week. Current outreach efforts target residents because of their continuous exposures to smoke and debris, WTC site workers because of the intensity of their exposures on 9/11 and in the weeks and months that followed, and students in order to see what developmental health impacts, if any, are associated with World Trade Center disaster.

Demographic Snapshots

Information from the World Trade Center Health Registry provides a demographic snapshot of enrollees' experiences on 9/11:

  • Location on 9/11 - Among the more than 19,000 enrollees who were present in buildings below Chambers Street between the first plane impact and noon, approximately 25% report they were in a building that was subsequently damaged or destroyed.
  • Dust Cloud Exposures - Overall half of all enrollees were inside the dust cloud generated by the collapse of the Twin Towers, a proportion that ranged from 35% among rescue/recovery workers to 71% for people who were in buildings, in transit or on the street.

At the press conference earlier today, Dr. Frieden also issued a report containing aggregate demographic information of all enrollees in the World Trade Center Health Registry through July 2, 2004. The report is available online at wtcregistry.org. Highlights include:

  • Residence by State - the majority of enrollees are residents of New York State (34,617), followed by New Jersey (4,588), Pennsylvania (455), California (426), Connecticut (301), and Florida (265). These figures represent residence as of September 11, 2001.
  • Residence by Borough - 28,482 enrollees were residents of New York City on September 11, 2001, with 14,223 enrollees residing in Manhattan.
  • Enrollees by Race - The majority of enrollees report their race as white, non-Hispanic (65%), followed by black, non-Hispanic (12%), Hispanic (11%), and Asian (7%).
  • Enrollees by Gender - Among enrollees, 56% are male and 44% are female.

Who Should Enroll in the World Trade Center Health Registry?

Thousands of people from each of the five boroughs, the greater New York metropolitan area, and throughout the country are eligible to enroll in the WTC Health Registry. Those in any one or more of the following categories should enroll:

  • People who were in a building, on the street, or on the subway south of Chambers Street on 9/11/01;
  • People who were involved in rescue, recovery, clean up or other activities at the WTC site* and/or the WTC Recovery Operations on Staten Island any time between 9/11/01 and 6/30/02;
  • School children & staff enrolled at schools (pre-K through 12) or day care centers south of Canal Street on 9/11/01;
  • People who were living south of Canal Street on 9/11/01.

* The WTC site is bounded by Chambers Street, Broadway, Rector Street and the Hudson River.

The data from the Registry will provide vital information about the occurrence of any health effects for all people who may have been exposed to the fumes, smoke and dust, even if they do not meet eligibility criteria.

Those who enroll in the Registry are asked to complete a 30-minute telephone survey including questions on where they were on September 11, 2001, how long they were in areas with smoke and fumes, and whether they have had any health problems since. Registrants will be periodically contacted to answer questions about any health changes. This information will then be compared with that of the general population to identify any health problems possibly linked to 9/11. Ultimately, findings drawn from the health registry will enable researchers to observe patterns that may be invisible to individual physicians. All information given will be kept strictly private and confidential. No medical examinations or tests are required.

The World Trade Center Health Registry is a collaborative effort between DOHMH and the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), with funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

To find out more about the World Trade Center Health Registry or to enroll, call toll-free, 1-(866) NYC-WTCR (1-866-692-9827) or 311 (in New York City). People can also log on to wtcregistry.org, or call 311 to ask for more information about the Registry.

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