Study: Some 9/11 firefighters may have higher heart risks now

Firefighters who arrived early or spent more time at the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 attacks seem to have a modestly higher risk of developing heart problems than those who came later or stayed less, doctors reported Friday.

The research might have implications for any efforts to expand the list of health problems eligible for payment from a victim compensation fund.

The study has some big limitations and can't prove that dust or anything else about the disaster caused increased heart risks. It also doesn't compare the New York firefighters to the general population or to other responders such as paramedics or construction workers.

But it does suggest that working at the site raised risk for some firefighters more than others. Those who arrived by noon that day had a 44% greater chance of suffering a heart problem in the years since the attack compared to firefighters who came hours or days later.

Risk was 33% higher for those who worked there during six or more months versus less time.

That may sound large but heart problems were fairly uncommon — only about 5% of these firefighters developed one.

Results of the federally funded study were published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Trump challenges California power to control auto pollution

DETROIT — The Trump administration on Friday launched an all-out assault on California over automotive mileage rules, telling state officials that only the federal government has the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy.

The assault began with the Justice Department opening an antitrust investigation into a deal between California and four automakers for tougher pollution and related mileage requirements than those sought by President Donald Trump. Then, two federal agencies told the state it has no authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The outcome of the fight will make or break Trump's effort to relax Obama-era mileage standards nationwide, weakening one of the past administration's main efforts to slow climate change. California's congressionally granted authority to set its own, tougher emissions standards under the 1970 Clean Air Act has long prodded automakers to adopt more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles, which emit less climate-damaging tailpipe exhaust.

As feds loom, states hit Facebook, Google with new probes

WASHINGTON — Two groups of states are targeting Facebook and Google in separate antitrust probes, widening the scrutiny of Big Tech beyond sweeping federal and congressional investigations into their market dominance.

Facebook and Google are two of the world's largest and most ubiquitous tech companies. The billions who use their services for making social media posts, uploading videos or searching ads are targeted by the tech companies for their personal data — a prized asset that enhances the companies' power. Regulators are examining whether the companies have used their market power to crimp competition, potentially raising prices and hurting consumers.

Dissatisfaction with what federal authorities have done so far may be pushing some states to band together to run their own investigations, possibly eyeing more aggressive sanctions. The Federal Trade Commission's recent $5 billion fine against Facebook over privacy violations, for example, was criticized by consumer advocates and a number of public officials as being too lenient.

 
 

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