According to a report by 1010 News, an online newspaper, the name of a woman who died of a lung disease five months after the attack on the World Trade Center has been added to the official list of the victims of the attack. The family of Felicia Dunn-Jones had asked the medical examiner to add her name, but had been refused at first. According to 1010 News, Charles Hirsch, the Chief Medical Examiner, had originally told the family that the death of Dunn-Jones could not be linked to the attack “with certainty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Hirsch changed his mind and the name of Felicia Dunn-Jones was added to the list of attack victims. It was the first instance of a death from toxic dust being linked to the collapse of the World Trade Center. Dunn-Jones, according to 1010 News, was an attorney and the mother of two. She was caught in the dust cloud while running from the towers. Unlike many rescue workers who had an ongoing contact with the site of the attacks, did not return to ground zero. Not long after the attack, she became ill. She died from sarcoidosis, a disease that inflames and scars the lungs. 1010 News reports that she was the only victim who didn’t die on Sept. 11 to receive a death benefit from a federal fund to compensate victims’ families.
Hirsch, according to 1010 News, explained his decision to include Dunn-Jones by referring to “accumulated scientific research” that being exposed to trade center dust could cause or lead to sarcoidosis. He concluded that Dunn-Jones’ exposure to the dust led to her death. Her name will be listed among the 9-11 victims on the Sept. 9 memorial that is projected to open in 2009. According to New York City, the official death toll at the World Trade Center is now 2,790.
1010 News reports that a class action suit claims that dozens of deaths have resulted from exposure to the dust that covered parts of Manhattan after the World Trade Center towers collapsed. A Fire Department of New York study found that “firefighters contracted sarcoidosis at a much higher rate after the attacks than before.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was thinking of the family of Dunn-Jones and others like them when he said, according to 1010 News, “It is on their behalf and on behalf of all those affected by 9/11 that we are now building a memorial that remembers and honors the thousands of innocents that died.”