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This is a blog about marketing, and so I tend to look at every message to see what it is selling. I’ve watched with horror as New York City’s continues to deny that the toxic smoke of 9/11 had no lasting health effects on rescue workers, and refuse to even acknowledge that those of us who were trapped in the cloud of dust are having health consequences too. What message are they selling, I’ve wondered. And toward what end?

I was one of many thousands who were trapped for hours in the black cloud that contained pulvarized human remains, cement dust, asbestos, mercury and 400 other chemicals that have never been combined or inhaled before. I’ve lost more than 20% of my lung capacity, and I am 100% certain I am not the only downtown resident who has.
A sure bet
This winter, I stopped responding to the asthma medications I’ve been on since spending three hours englufed in air that was like the dust inside a vacuum cleaner bag. Yet the Victim Compensation Board denied me benefits because they included the back of my building, but not the front – where officials basically kept us trapped for hours – in their red zone map. It’s a sure bet that thousands of other injured victims were given equally ridiculous excuses.
My latest inhalers are helping, but I’m told by my lung doctor that now is about the time that sarcoidosis and other effects of inhaling fibers will start to show up in me and lots of other people.
Not that I expect it to change anything for me or anyone else who’s having 9/11-related breathing problems, but I was sort of heartened to see Sidney Zion’s column this morning, saying

“Something stinks in our city, worse in its way than the toxins that emanated out of Ground Zero. …It’s a sick joke. What really is going on, is a fear by the bureaucracy that a decision connecting Ground Zero with health consequences and/or death will result in big time money damages.”

At least he’s writing the truth. The City and the feds are marketing denial, and in the end, it’s all about money.