The health toll on 9/11 first responders

Seventeen years later, the attacks are taking a staggering toll on first responders who risked their lives to search the debris for victims.
1:53 | 09/11/18

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Transcript for The health toll on 9/11 first responders
Now to the somber anniversary marking seventeen years since the September 11 attacks overnight here in New York the tribute in light soared into the sky. And today there's a new push to pay tribute to the growing number first responders who have died since nine elevenths. Nearly two decades later the attacks are taking a staggering toll on first responders who risk their lives to search the debris for victims. They're exposed to toxic dust and debris. In what one retired agent calls a cesspool of cancer. In the years since 9/11 more than a 150 police officers have died from. 9/11 related illnesses that's nearly eight times more than those who died on the day of the attacks. And there's been a large increase in cases in recent months with eighteen firefighters dying in the last year. One officer said it's like bin Laden reaching out from the grave and they're not alone federal agents are also at risk. And the FBI director says not enough for seeking help. Only now beginning to understand. And witness. The long term effects. Of that work because nobody knows what tomorrow. Papering seventeen years later there is new hope this year for the families who lost loved ones on that day. DNA technologies helping identify more remains all the profile that regenerates. Today this year. Is there remains that way and no hope seven to pass the New York Examiner's offices employing new techniques allowing them to extract DNA material from bone fragment. Are gonna find hundreds of additional remains. That commitment to making his identification. Is as great today and twentieth team as it was in 2001. And nearly 21000 people have become eligible to receive money from the 9/11 victims compensation fund more than four billion dollars have been distributed.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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