9/11 Rescue Workers Detox ification ProgramPRESENTATION ABSTRACT THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION AND HUMAN DETOXIFICATION HUNTER COLLEGE NEW YORK, NY, SEPTEMBER 22-23, 2005
Treatment of WTC Exposures: Results from Detoxification
Jonnie Rachinow, MD
The Hubbard method of detoxification has been used to treat exposure symptoms in about 500 professional and volunteer rescue workers who were exposed to large quantities of toxins in the dust, smoke and fumes resulting from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC).
Firefighters, paramedics, police, clean-up crews and other personnel labored for weeks and months in the immediate vicinity of the WTC. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was not always available or was ineffective in preventing the rescue workers from absorbing contaminants by inhalation, ingestion or dermal exposure.
There is no doubt that the tens of thousands of men and women who participated in the rescue and recovery operations were exposed to a wide range of toxins, many of which are known to accumulate in body tissues. Exposure symptoms have not abated with time, instead a substantial number of those exposed are experiencing worsening health status involving multiple organ systems.
Recognizing that they had had an unprecedented exposure, the firefighters and union officials considered timely treatment a priority. They contacted the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education concerning assistance in making detoxification available to exposed personnel. Previous case reports and a number of non-randomized, controlled studies of exposed workers including firefighters have been published over the past two decades. The regimen has been shown to be safe, can reduce tissue levels of lipophilic xenobiotics such as PCBs, and can improve memory, cognitive functions, immune parameters and general physical condition in different study populations.
An independent facility funded by private donations was set up in September 2002 in lower Manhattan providing this therapy to date to 484 rescue workers and other exposed persons without charge. To evaluate the efficacy of this rehabilitative therapy, participants complete comprehensive health and symptom surveys before and after detoxification. Program participants: 273 firefighters, 52 sanitation workers, 19 paramedics, 23 police officers, and 117 others; indicate a range of benefits that sum up to improved quality of life and job fitness.
• Prior to enrollment individuals averaged 4.4 days of limited activity and 2.1 days missed work per month.
• After detoxification, these individuals report 0.2 days of missed work or limited activities – this includes the month while they underwent therapy.
Perception of Health
Persistent symptoms such as fatigue irritability, cough, skin disorders, and gastroesophageal reflux have consistently improved on treatment completion.
Improvement in Symptoms
|Fully resolved at discharge.||Greatly improved if not fully resolved.|
|Impaired Short/Long-term Memory||72.8/69.7%||22/19%|
|Lung and Airway|
|Shortness of Breath with Exercise||45.2%||35%|
|Other Breathing Difficulties||63.0%||76%|
|Rash or Dryness||68.0%||29.2%|