June 2, 2022

Virtual Exhibition Focuses on 9/11 Exposures, Health Effects

An online exhibition launched this week by the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program is intended to raise awareness about ongoing health effects from exposures related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The WTC Health Program is administered by NIOSH and provides medical monitoring and treatment for responders at the WTC and related sites in New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and survivors who were in the New York City disaster area. The opening of the virtual exhibition commemorates the official end of WTC recovery operations 20 years ago. Since then, more than 69,000 people have been diagnosed with physical and mental health conditions resulting from 9/11 exposures to dust, debris, and traumatic events, according to NIOSH.

“More than twenty years later, as thousands suffer with chronic health conditions linked to 9/11 exposures, experts predict that the health effects from these attacks will continue for many decades to come,” the introduction to the exhibition explains.

Visitors to the exhibition will find information about the health effects of 9/11, the types of toxins to which first responders and others in the disaster areas were exposed, advocacy that led to the establishment of the WTC Health Program, treatment of health conditions related to 9/11, and research on 9/11 health impacts. Multimedia components of the exhibition include photographs by Earl Dotter, a photographer whose work has been published by AIHA in The Synergist and other publications.

The online exhibition was developed by the WTC Health Program in partnership with the David J. Sencer CDC Museum. A press release published by NIOSH says that a future physical installation is planned for the CDC Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

The exhibition can be viewed via CDC’s website.

Related: Several articles in The Synergist have focused on 9/11 exposures, including “Looking Back on 9/11: Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001” and “Hazard or Artifact?: How OEHS Informs Collection Management of World Trade Center Dust at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.” The article “Exposures at the World Trade Center: Ten Years Later, What Have We Learned?” was originally published in the September 2011 issue of the magazine. A SynergistNOW blog post published in 2021 focuses on occupational and environmental health and safety professionals’ experiences on 9/11.