A former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee responsible for exposing the government cover up of health hazards from the 9/11 site finally received justice for her actions.
A federal court ordered Cate Jenkins to be reinstated to her former job, with back pay, after being terminated in 2010 for accusing the EPA of intentionally covering up the dangers associated with the toxic dust at the 9/11 sites.
Jenkins, a chemist for the EPA, was the first official to speak out about the health hazards associated with dust from the World Trade Center buildings.
She recognized that the toxic dust that resulted from the collapsed buildings of the 9/11 Attacks contained dangerous asbestos, lead, cement particles and glass fibers.
Inhalation of this dust caused respiratory diseases and cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, some of which have been and continue to be felt by 9/11 first responders.
This hazardous link between the dust and diseases has been confirmed by numerous environmental experts since 2001.
Warnings by officials like Jenkins could have prevented many respiratory diseases suffered by hundreds of local firemen, policemen, EMT and others if they were properly heeded.
According to Jenkins’ lawyer, Paula Dinerstein, the federal court’s actions amount to vindication.
Jenkins, who is also a polio survivor, worked for the EPA for more than 30 years. She was determined to disclose the truth despite the agency’s efforts to keep it under wraps.
Christine Todd Whitman was the head of the EPA following the 9/11 Attacks and denied that there was substantial information to “indicate a health hazard.” She since has acknowledged that the Bush administration wanted to avoid panic by disclosing the health threat.
Unfortunately, this avoidance of panic comes at the expense of many brave first responders.
Many of these first responders who now suffer from diseases and cancers have had difficulties attempting to receive compensation for their honorable work. Still, much of today’s progress towards the conditions of 9/11 first responders is possible because of Jenkins’ efforts to battle the EPA.
This is not the first time that Jenkins fought the EPA and beat them.
In the early 1990s, Jenkins was transferred from her job at the EPA for exposing the Monsanto Company for publishing fraudulent studies that said no link existed between dioxins and human cancers, when in fact a link did exist.
It was later determined by an administrative judge that Jenkins was transferred wrongfully.