Monday, December 01, 2003

The Real Scandal of 9/11?

Interesting article in the NY Times Sunday about the EPA's response to 9/11. The author maintains that EPA's misinformation about the safety of the air quality after the attack was not so much a coverup, as an inept response to a situation that neither the agency or the White House was eqipped to handle.

Of more interest is the following paragraph:
Other scientists and health experts say the focus on indoor air takes the focus off what some believe will ultimately emerge as the real scandal of 9/11, the fact that wearing a respirator at ground zero was voluntary.

At the Pentagon, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration took an enforcement role in protecting workers. In New York, OSHA was only in advisory mode, which meant that even in October and November, when the rescue efforts were long over, no one could walk through the site and kick people out for not wearing respiratory protection. Thousands of people became ill from working at the site.