A recent episode airing on CNN Business featured two journalists who covered the 9/11 terror attacks at ground zero, and who now are speaking out on behalf of others who may be at risk for malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. The two are Bruce David Martin, a former news operation manager and photo journalist, and Vincent Novak, who worked for NBC at the time. Martin has been diagnosed with liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer, while Novak has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Both want journalists to know that they too are covered by the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program.
Two Decades Later, Cancers Arising From 9/11 Exposure Have Begun to Appear
As is the case with first responders, workers and residents of the area surrounding the World Trade Center site, journalists and photojournalists who covered the story breathed in the asbestos-contaminated dust and debris left behind by the disaster, and they are vulnerable to all of the same health risks, including malignant mesothelioma. The disease has a long latency period, and health experts expect that symptoms are about to begin appearing and diagnoses of the disease are about to begin being made.
Though neither Martin and Novak have mesothelioma, the illnesses that both have been diagnosed with are potentially deadly. They are realistic about their own conditions and are now working to make sure that others who are at similar risk avail themselves of the much-needed compensation that has been provided through the victims’ fund.
Journalists Gave No Thought To Health Risks While Covering the Story
Martin explains, “As a journalist, the main motive is just to get the story, get those pictures, never thinking years later you’re going to end up dying from it.” Novak agrees, saying, “We had a job to do.” Now he is speaking to the importance of accepting the help that is available. “I hesitated contacting the fund, because we weren’t there to save lives,” he said. “But the media did do a service, by showing the actuality of the events and that there were no more attacks. We helped the public to cope.” According to an attorney who represented the two as they applied for compensation, members of the media are considered first responders in this situation. “They were breathing the same toxic dust as the New York City firefighters and cops.”
Exposure to asbestos can be deadly, and can lead to being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and a host of other illnesses. For information about the resources available to you, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.