Twenty years after the devastating attacks on September 11, doctors are still uncovering the fallout from the destruction of the World Trade Center. In a new study, researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York have discovered a link between the toxic dust coming from Ground Zero and liver damage. Their findings show that the earliest first responders on the scene have an even higher risk of fatty liver disease than others in the area after the terror attacks.
The report is the first to connect higher odds of liver disease to time spent near the rubble in 2001. Study authors find that emergency personnel at Ground Zero within the first two weeks of the attack encountered the highest concentrations of toxic materials. These individuals are now showing greater signs of decreasing density in their livers — a key measure of liver disease due to chemical exposure (or hepatic steatosis).