By Dan Shapley
As illness rates soar, Congress holds hearings on fallout from 9/11 dust
Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman defended her pronouncements about the safety of air in lower Manhattan following the collapse of the World Trade Center in Congressional testimony yesterday. An large and growing number of people are complaining that the fallout of dust following the terrorist attacks has compromised their health, or the health of family members. Whitman said her recommendations -- that workers use respirators but citizens in surrounding neighborhoods would be safe breathing the air -- were based on the recommendations of scientists and experts. The issue is likely to get more attention, as Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani, then mayor of New York City, faces questions about his role in the cleanup. Some studies have shown 70% of first responders have complained of illness possibly related to the air, according to a story in the June 26 Los Angeles Times.