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Heartburn, Reflux Seen in 9/11 Survivors

New Study Shows Lingering Health Effects of People at Ground Zero

Dust Inhaled and Swallowed

The new findings are “not unexpected,” says E. Neil Schachter, MD, the medical director of respiratory care at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

The asthma-GERD connection is a well-known one, he says.

There are some safety mechanisms in place that prevent what we eat or drink from entering our lungs (aspiration), he says.

After 9/11, “all that stuff that was breathed into the back of our throats got mixed in with saliva and we swallowed it,” he says.

This may have irritated the upper GI tract and caused some of the symptoms seen in the new study, he says.


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