9/11, ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS, PREMATURE DEATH AND DISABILITY: A PAINFUL REMINDER KEY ANTIAGING INITIATIVES
9/11 is a date that has gone down in infamy, but the medical consequences of this event for many thousands of people remain under-explored. Political arguments aside, the medical needs of rescue workers and adjacent citizens of New York and New Jersey have been arguably dealt with by a process of inefficiency. While epidemiologists plot the adverse medical outcomes, preventive medical strategies to intervene with detoxification have not received appropriate attention. Environmental toxin exposure included asbestos, toxic heavy metals, other inorganic or organic disease causing chemicals and perhaps other unidentified health-damaging agents. Evidence-based strategies exist to minimize toxin load following exposure to several toxic agents. The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Program applied classic detoxification methods hundreds of exposed victims, using a vitamin supplement regimen, sauna exposure, aerobic exercise and lifestyle advice with clearly documented improvements in presenting symptoms that could be attributed to toxin exposure during the 9/11 events, together with objective evidence of reduction in toxic load, as measured by laboratory testing in a selected number of victims. With clarity, the victims reported consistently a reduction for the need of drug prescriptions, in circumstances where some rescue workers were receiving extreme polypharmacy (oral medication and inhalers). Progression of disease from the toxic exposures of 9/11 is evolving and documented in the medical literature, including deaths, reports of low birth weight, chronic respiratory disability and other disorders. The consequences of heavy metal exposure and excessive free radical load can be forecast in the exposed populations, but a concerted effort at detoxification remains quite limited by resources and continuing arguments about the lack of efficacy or evidence base for detoxification methods. While meritorious outcome appears to be present in open-label observations of a simple initial detoxification program, further planning of continuity of continuing detoxification and lifestyle interventions require urgent attention. The premature disability and death that could affect thousands of citizens in a significant radius of one of the highest population densities in the world is a major public health initiative that remains somewhat mismanaged. There is an urgent need for amalgamation of outcome data on detoxification practices, utilizing non-allopathic interventions.