New York lawmakers want autopsy guidelines for post-9/11 deaths

The three co-authors of a compensation bill for victims of 9/11 want federal regulators to develop autopsy guidelines for people who were exposed to toxins after the terrorist attack in New York City.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health began working on such guidelines several years ago, but they were never completed. In a letter this week to NIOSH Director John Howard, Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler and Republican Rep. Peter King urge the agency to "develop autopsy guidelines that would help to better understand the causes of the illnesses being experienced by World Trade Center responders and survivors."

"Setting guidelines for autopsies for those who were exposed to toxins at Ground Zero," they write, "could help to better understand the effects of 9/11 exposures both for that individual and for the larger affected group."

The three New York lawmakers are co-sponsors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which guarantees healthcare for first responders to the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City. It cleared the House 268 to 160 in September but has yet to come before the Senate.