The American Lung Association of New York

Response to September 11th


When the World Trade Center towers collapsed on September 11, an estimated two million tons of debris were generated and released into the air.  The debris created a cloud of finely pulverized concrete, gypsum, glass and other materials, as well as soot from smoldering fires that has literally coated the downtown area, including the homes of residents.


In response to this overwhelming need for respiratory care following the attacks, the American Lung Association of New York established the 9-11 RESPIRATORY ASSISTANCE FUND.  Through the support of the American Lung Association family, individuals and corporate supporters, this Fund has enabled the ALA of New York to establish two important campaigns to help meet the financial, educational and research needs of a community besieged with lung health concerns.


h     The 9-11 Respiratory Assistance Fund for New Yorkers -- Through a partnership with the Visiting Nurse Services of New York City, this Fund provides financial assistance to anyone who does not have medical coverage and who has been prescribed oxygen, respiratory equipment or supplies, or medication to treat respiratory illnesses resulting from the disaster.  Payments are limited to the funds available with a maximum of $1,000 per qualified patient.


h     Operation Return Home – Launched on September 26 with the support of the NYC Department of Health, Operation Return Home is a community outreach program to help residents return to their homes by providing lung health kits with information and resources to minimize the stress and risks associated with re-entry.  Staff and volunteers distributed air quality information, tips for cleaning up, resources, such as dust masks and latex gloves, and equipment, including air purifiers and HEPA vacuums, to the residential areas most affected by the disaster.


More than $115,000 was raised for ALANY’s Respiratory Assistance Fund.



At this time, these funds are enabling the following services:


­ The Visiting Nurse Services of NYC provides financial aid to qualified Manhattan residents

for the cost of pulmonary services and related support.


­  5,000 “Re-entry” Lung Health Kits distributed to the residents near Ground Zero.

More than 70 volunteers, including teams from the NYC Department of Health, the national ALA office, KPMG and GlaxoSmithKline joined the ALA of New York staff and volunteers to assemble “re-entry” kits and distribute them to the community.


­      2,000 Whirlpool Air Purifiers and 200 Eureka HEPA Vacuums distributed to day care centers, schools, and residential buildings in the affected zone.


­ Environmental air quality concerns & related needs monitored by ALANY staff & volunteers.


­      5,000+ literature packets and clean up checklists distributed to neighborhood pharmacies, grocery stores, and health clubs near Ground Zero.


­  More than 5,000 dust masks and 200 respirator mask filters donated to the rescue workers at the World Trade Center site.

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