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Lung Problems Rife Among WTC Responders

Ironworker John Sferazo, who spent 30 days on the smoldering debris pile and now takes 26 medications a day to deal with his lung problems, said the White House did too little, too late. "If President Bush wanted this situation to be cleaned up, it would have been cleaned up long before now," he said.

He said he was having trouble getting words out at Tuesday's news conference because he is constantly short of breath and has restrictive airway disease. "I'm lucky if I can run a city block without dropping dead," said Sferazo, 51.

Lawmakers said the government has to develop a coordinated funding program to pay for health care for the workers for the rest of their lives, and said environmental officials failed to warn people about the danger of breathing the air near the site.

"It was obvious that the air was hard to see through, let alone hard to breathe," said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The mayor announced that a World Trade Center clinic will open in January at a public hospital. Among those who will be treated there are illegal immigrants and uninsured people.

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Associated Press Writer Sara Kugler contributed to this report.

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On the Net:

Mount Sinai Medical Center: http://www.mountsinai.org


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© 2006 The Associated Press