Harlem Physicians Help Rescue Workers
Escape the Toxic Legacy of 9/11
New York, NY-As New Yorkers struggle with recent revelations that federal officials downplayed the dangers of the air at the World Trade Center, a pair of Harlem physicians are working just blocks from the site to help rescue workers still suffering from their exposures.
In the last year, Apryl McNeil, MD, and Kawabena Nyamekye, MD, have helped nearly 150 firefighters, paramedics and police officers recover their pre-9/11 quality of life through a detoxification treatment designed to rid the body of toxic residues.
The program, based on the New York Times best-selling book Clear Body Clear Mind by L. Ron Hubbard, combines exercise and sauna bathing with a regimen of vitamins and minerals. Treatment is provided to rescue workers at no cost through donations to the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Fund; to date, nearly 100 individual donors, individuals, and corporations have made contributions.
"Most of the rescue workers who come to me have been receiving some kind of treatment since late 2001, and their symptoms are still persisting,," said Dr. McNeil. "At this point, they're becoming desperate for relief."
Common complaints, including breathing difficulties, unrelenting fatigue, inability to sleep, body and joint aches, weight gain, acid reflux and difficulty concentrating. While some of these symptoms could be characterized as "post traumatic stress," they have also been associated with chemical exposures.
Israel Miranda, Health and Safety Officer for Local 2507, the Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics of the FDNY, has referred about 15 people for detoxification and is encouraged by the results.
"After a week or two on the program, they start to look and act like themselves again," he said. "They get their energy back, they can interact with their kids again. They can sleep through the night, and breathe comfortably without needing medication. In a couple of cases, men have been able to avoid forced retirement."
David E. Root, MD, MPH, a board-certified occupational medicine specialist, has used the detoxification program to treat chemically exposed patients for more than two decades at his practice in Sacramento, California. He is senior medical advisor to the New York facility.
"I've now put nearly 4,000 individuals through the Hubbard detoxification program," Dr. Root said. "I can say without a doubt that it works. It's still the only treatment that addresses the effects of accumulated toxins, and there's nothing else on the horizon."
The regimen has been used for more than two decades to treat chemical exposures, work which has been discussed in papers published by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Archives of Environmental Health, and the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, among others.
"This is the only program being offered to rescue workers that is addressing the toxic material accumulated in their bodies," said Dr. Nyamekye. "It will take years to fully understand the health effects that these residues cause, but in the meantime, one thing is certain: they don't belong in the body at any level."
"What we hear now is that even the experts say they'll never fully understand the consequences of the WTC exposures," said Miranda. "That's not exactly comforting to our members. The worst thing that could happen would be for them to be left with nothing more than a 'wait and see' approach to their health problems. Detoxification is the only preventative option they're being offered. The fact that so many are working to ensure it remains available is greatly appreciated."
More information about the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project can be found online at www.nydetox.org. To find out more about the detoxification program in the book Clear Body Clear Mind visit www.clearbodyclearmind.com.
Coastal Post Home Page