Industrial hygiene (IH) should be a part of the Recovery Response Team. An Industrial Hygienist serves as both quality control and protection for the team as a whole. The total amount of people that died from the 9/11 attack, at the World Trade Center (WTC), in New York, was ~2800. Illnesses and death since 9/11 from the rescue and recovery workers may never be known but it far exceeds the initial attack. The main role of an IH as part of the team is to perform a lot of forward planning, thinking of how a team would respond in many situations. Working with Incident Commanders (IC) and planning out strategies for initial rescue, response and eventually the different stages of clean-up would be a valuable exercise. Working with groups, in other parts of the country and publishing whitepapers about the exercises could provide knowledge to a network of Emergency Response groups that would have at least foundational knowledge on dealing with a catastrophe and how to protect the personnel responding. From building a thought process on how to respond to a variety of disasters, the IH would have to move on to testing a variety of real life response configurations. The local response teams would be used by the EPA to assist with response and recovery efforts. Having an IH with the role of ensuring someone is looking at the overall response, with the responders in mind, will save the lives of the heroes going in to save others.
Major potential health hazards present at the 9/11 site
The number one health hazard present at 911 was toxic dust. The mixture of potential health hazards in the dust was intense. The CDC (2002) lists the potential health hazard...
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