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Health Problems From 9/11 Continue To Take Their Toll

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The toxic dust that emanated from the fallen Twin Towers continues to impact the health of some kids who grew up near Ground Zero, according to a new study.

The study by NYU Langone Health looked at blood tests from 300 young adults, who as kids came in contact with the dust on or after September 11, 2001.

About half of those tested had higher levels of a certain chemical in their blood, WCBS 880's Mike Smeltz reported. That chemical leads to an increased risk of heart disease.

"I have to say, the findings are quite striking," said lead investigator Leonardo Trasande. "The good news is with time, the levels of these chemicals do clear from the human body."

He said researchers did not see a specific stiffening of the arteries. What they found were markers that could lead to heart issues down the road.

The damage done by the toxic dust can be treated much the same way a person would if they had cholesterol or heart issues – a healthy diet and exercise. 

Meanwhile, the 9/11 death toll continues to rise.

WCBS 880's Peter Haskell learned new numbers from the NYPD and FDNY on Thursday.

"Certainly 23 who we lost on that day, and another 132 and counting since that time," said Deputy Police Commissiner Ben Tucker.

There have been 159 firefighters who died from 9/11-related illnesses.

William Gormley was one of them. His sister, Katherine Khatari, told Haskell that he was treated for bladder cancer in the spring.

"He went from the bladder being OK to Stage 4 lung cancer in two weeks time," she said.

Gormley died in June. He was 53.

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