Saturday, September 09, 2006

WTC Health Guidelines - Was Harlem Exposed?

"Can I have your attention please:

Jesus was Black.
[Middle Eastern - Woolly Hair]

Ronald Reagan was the devil.
[AIDS – Crack (Iran Contra) Policies]

And the government is lying about 9/11"


Despite what the government is saying, the toxic dust from the WTC did not stay in Lower Manhattan. The wind carried it much further than New York City. Remember the initial estimates that said 25,000 to 30,000 folks killed on 9/11. By the time World Trade Center Illness runs its course, initial death toll numbers could be accurate. I say that because the City reports that hundreds of thousands of people were exposed.

The toxic soup that made up the dust from the WTC contained transformer oil contaminated with PCB's, polyvinyl, chloride, copper, furans, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, dioxins, asbestos, mercury from the computers and lights, thousands of gallons of jet fuel, and what the National Resources Defense Council - NRDC defined as “small hazardous waste generating entities.” Add to that an estimated 50,000 personal computers with four pounds of lead each, pulverized, and that is 200,000 pounds of lead released into the atmosphere."

It's way past time to tell the truth about the government's decision to put New York on lock down when World Trade Center 1, 2 & 7 were exploded. I write exploded because there was thermite found in the dust and all three structures were pulverized, not fallen or burned. As was the case in New Orleans during Katrina, the word "explosions" was used by people who were present at the events.

It is not just the first responders who are suffering and dying. Living, working, visiting for a spell folks were exposed.

Did the toxic dust travel as far as Harlem? Of course it did. Common sense says the wind would carry the dust to many places, including Harlem.

  • Was there any testing done to see if asbestos and other toxic material traveled into Harlem?
  • What about folks who live in Harlem and volunteered at Ground Zero, i.e. Albert Davis or worked downtown either on or after 9/11 i.e. Robert Ponce'?
  • Given the dynamics of insurance, do those exposed have health options if they are among the 40 million or so uninsured in America?
  • Is Harlem's health care system ready to deal with community folks exposed to the toxic dust?
  • What have Harlem's elected and appointed officials done to test the area for toxic material from the WTC over the last 5 years?

Chronic exposure to toxic material can cause squamous cell cancer and other medical conditions. It takes 5-15 years to manifest and the reports of people dying are flooding in. There are many ways the problem of World Trade Center Illness is manifesting. Squamous cell cancer is just one.

After 5 years of "studying" the problem, in August, 2006, the City of New York released guidelines to the medical community for how to deal with WTC Illness. The report is from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene titled CLINICAL GUIDELINES FOR ADULTS EXPOSED TO THE WORLD TRADE CENTER DISASTER.

While the EPA and the City of New York are bantering blame about who was responsible for letting people be chronically exposed to a multitude of toxic substances, the result is no less devastating.

The guidelines, whose published section does not include footnotes, paints a grim picture:

Page 47:
"The World Trade Center (WTC) terrorist attack and its aftermath exposed hundreds of thousands of people to debris, dust, smoke, and fumes. Studies conducted after September 11, 2001, among rescue and clean-up workers,1-4 office workers, 5 building evacuees,6 and residents of lower Manhattan 7-9 showed an increase in respiratory and other physical and mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Many New Yorkers have health problems that could be associated with – or made worse by – exposure to the attack and its aftermath. Primary care physicians need to know how to identify, evaluate, treat, and if necessary, refer these individuals to expert care."

Page 48
Physical Exposures

The collapse and burning of the WTC and neighboring buildings released a complex mixture of irritant dust, smoke, and gaseous materials. Pulverized concrete, glass, plastic, paper, and wood produced alkaline dust. The dust cloud also contained heavy metals, as well as asbestos and other substances that may be carcinogenic. In addition, smoke released from the persistent fires in the months that followed also contained hazardous and potentially carcinogenic substances.

Environmental test results showed that the composition of dust and smoke released into the air and deposited on indoor and outdoor surfaces varied by date and location.10 Individual exposure to contaminants was determined by duration, site, activities, and use of appropriate protective equipment. Health effects related to these exposures may also vary, depending on the intensity and duration of exposure as well as on underlying medical conditions, tobacco use, and individual susceptibility.

Although heavy metals were detected in the air and dust, clinical tests performed on specimens from more than 10,000 firefighters showed no clinically significant concentrations of mercury, lead, or beryllium.11 Heavy metals are usually cleared from the blood and urine within months of exposure."

Page 49:
Table 2. Potentially WTC-Associated Conditions
Inhalation or ingestion of WTC dust and fumes affected the mucous membranes of the nose, sinuses, pharynx, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and respiratory tract.
The symptoms and signs of these conditions include:
• Sinus, nasal, and postnasal congestion
• Heartburn, hoarseness, and throat irritation
• Shortness of breath and wheezing
• Chronic cough
Some clinicians have described a syndrome consisting of a triad that is typified by:
• Upper airway cough syndrome (postnasal drip syndrome)
• Asthma/reactive airways dysfunction syndrome(RADS)
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)/laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD)

Page 51:
"Other Possibly Associated Pulmonary Conditions
Consult a WTC Medical Monitoring and Treatment Center (Resources) for further information about these and other medical problems currently under evaluation:
• Interstitial lung diseases
• Chronic bronchitis/non-asthmatic eosinophilic bronchitis
• Rare reports of pulmonary eosinophilic infiltrates,26 granulomatous pneumonitis,27 and bronchiolitis obliterans28
• Other lung diseases

Patients may also present with other as yet unexplained conditions that require additional diagnostic evaluation. Although the dust cloud contained heavy metals, there is no recognized need to perform blood or urine testing for heavy metals in the absence of specific indicative symptoms."

The guidelines are basically a shopping list for drugs that they disclaim in size 8 type, i.e.:

"Use of brand names is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene."

These 'guidelines' fall far short of what needs to be done now. They speak of managing symptoms rather than how to heal.

Here's my short list of what needs to be done now.

1. Demand unconditional screening and health care for all affected plus disability pay to cover living expenses. Many have lost their jobs over the last five years, are sick and without insurance. (#3 is how to pay for it).

2. Empower folks to use meditation, work with their Healer Within, hydrotherapy and/or medical hemp (marijuana) to manage and heal if possible. The only good news I found in the guidelines is that in the post 9/11 era, marijuana use is up. Since the problem is toxic material in one's body, cleaning out as much as possible (hydrotherapy - for drinking consider distilled water), reducing stress (meditation, Healer Within and medical hemp). It's going to take a miracle to turn this situation around, but as most Harlemites know, miracles happen every day.

3. Legalize hemp, tax it at 20% to raise revenue to pay for the health care and other social problems. Since the hemp plant scrubbs the air when growing, it can be an effective tool for helping folks by reducing pollutants in the air.

4. Bring to justice those responsible for altering the EPA report that told people that the air was safe to breathe and the water safe to drink. It was not safe, the city was put on lock down with a military compliment, and people are dying as a result of both the City of New York and the U.S. government’s failed policy of lie and hope it gets better. Demand to see the original, unaltered 9/11 air quality report from the EPA and other sources like the sewer air monitors at North River, Newton Creek, Red Hook, Owls Head and Port Richmond. They are suppose to be testing the air because the sewers are uncovered and in case someone throws something toxic into the sewers, we need to know.

5. Establish evacuation procedures that everyone knows about in the event of another emergency situation like the Christmas Tsunami of '04 (the politicians failed to protect Harlem's low lying areas from floods), or Katrina.

6. Work with and demand action from your elected and appointed officials. Even though the elections are rigged so that it's almost impossible to vote them out, there is still room to make them do the right thing and change the law to provide for WTC victims.

7. PRAY! if so inclined.

When I was teaching folks HOW TO COMPUTE in Harlem in the 90's I would tell them how, in the event of a disaster, the helicopters would not be coming to Harlem, but downtown where the money folks are. Sadly, Katrina demonstrated that I was correct.

I close with this last observation. There was no mention of Harlem, or mid-town or New Jersey in the guidelines. The people impacted by this health crisis must look within for answers because the government and the medical community barely have a clue what to do. Their industrial age solutions do not work well in this, the information age.

Monday, August 14, 2006


In 1985, therapist Niro Markoff tested HIV positive and was moving into ARC (Aids Related Complex). Facing what many saw as a death sentence at the time, Niro created her own program of emotional therapy, daily meditation, healthy diet and exercise. Niro’s program includes facing and healing fear, shame and guilt; powerful daily meditations, productive journaling, reprioritizing your life, and listening to your inner healer who will tell you what you need to do to allow healing to flow through you…yes you. Since 1986 she has tested HIV negative. She was featured in Parade Magazine and appeared on Donohue on 7/13/93.

I am happy and grateful to report that 20 Years After her healing, Niro Markoff is alive and well. If results in healing counts for anything, this is a case worth revisiting.

Back in the mid 90's at Hale House, the Computer Underground Railroad was able to introduce the Harlem community to Niro Markoff. The day of the event the mothers and children were given free tickets to Radio City Music Hall at the time of the event, so attendance was light.

Hale House's Dr. Ivan Black and a few of the women with HIV/AIDS attended. Dr. Black is one of those true healing angels who helped Mother Clara Hale with her work. Dr. Black was able to achieve a 100% remission rate of babies brought in HIV positive and reverted to HIV negative. The response was to fire Dr. Black. He had created a solution that could get in the way of fundraising. Poverty pimps need poverty to pimp.

Over the years I lost contact with Niro but in June we reconnected via the internet. Out of frustration that there was no real representation of this great healing warrior's work, I typed her book and put it on line for free. Markoff''s book, telling both her story and how folks can connect with their Healer Within, is WHY I SURVIVE AIDS. The work was originally published by Simon & Schuster and is posted to read for free or available at .

Niro Markoff healed herself by working with her Healer Within of HIV with ARC back in 1986."God is the true healer. Healing is being whole with God." Click Here To Contact Niro Via Email.

Since there is little to no money to be made by medical special interests using her techniques (though sometimes the Healer Within does lead one to the right doctors) not much attention was paid to her work, though it was powerful enough to be introduced into the public consciousness.

On 7/13/93, Markoff appeared on Donohue in a show called SHOCKING AIDS CASES DOCTORS - TS930722. She was also frequently featured in Parade Magazine as a long term AIDS survivor.

And the great healers of the day gave her ample praise: Dr. Bernie Siegel was a cancer surgeon for over 20 years at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He is the author of LOVE, MEDICINE AND MIRACLES and PEACE. LOVE AND HEALING. He wrote “Niro has been one of my most powerful teachers. Her book can show all of us how to overcome adversity and survive any of life’s threats. I highly recommend it.” The late, great Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (The Wheel of Life) wrote in her foreward to Markoff’s book: “Niro’s story about her discovery of the AIDS disease as well as her struggle with it-step-by-step-is a light in the darkness for millions.” Hay House’s founder, Louise Hay, author of YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE wrote “Niro is involved in some of the powerful healing work being done with AIDS. She is a beautiful woman whom I admire enormously.”

With what we now know about lobbyist purchasing government policy, that Markoff is not yet well known is no surprise. Through it all, with her champion spirit, she’s never given up on her mission to help heal the planet of AIDS and other life threatening dis-eases by working with one’s Healer Within.Markoff’s work expands beyond AIDS in its effectiveness.

Currently she is looking into healing World Trade Center Illness, an issue that is on its way to the front pages of every news operation in the world. The first responders have already begun to die. They were not the only ones exposed to the toxic material from the explosions of the WTC, nor did the dust stop at 14th Street in Manhattan, where she spent 3 months close to Ground Zero. She lost 3 people close to her on 9/11.Markoff is available for interviews, setting up workshops, and working on her new book.Markoff can be contacted via email.

We are overcoming now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hey Harlem, Nayer Here

I left Harlem in '98. As a third generation Harlemite, my soul, on a daily basis, reminds me where home is. Her art, the people, the hope on the streets are still a source of joy in my life. Her parties, politics, accomplishments and beat make Harlem's magic reach me all the way to Arizona. The problems, the solutions, the possibilities, though I'm not there, are still important to me.

I left so many people I deeply love in Harlem.

My brother, Albert Davis, has with the creation of the Harlem Blogosphere given me a back door into the hood.

So, though I have not even visited Harlem, or New York for that matter where I lived for 25 years, I'm taking advantage of this space to get back to addressing the issues that I believe will make Harlem, my homeland, free to be the place of dreams my grandparents came to in the 1920's from Daytona Beach, FL.

I'm talking computerization, the environment, education, health empowerment, community safety, spirit, prosperity, beauty, etc.

So let's start with my main problem with Harlem when I left. A total lack of computerization in the 90's.

Back in '98 Harlem didn't even have one computer super store, and the folks in charge were not going to let one come in, as they demonstrated in the Dis-Empowerment Zone meetings. Not only was there not a computer super store, I'd walked down 125th & 145th Streets and not see one PC in a business or a window.

Members of the 'in charge' team had their own agenda. Even Al Gore came to the Apollo to tell us that though we won the designation for the marketing term "Empowerment Zone," our businesses would not be getting a penny.

The computer training my friends and I were doing at Minisink Townhouse was shut down without warning, computers taken away, and poverty pimps closed ranks, though they were ever so nice about it.

What to do to get more folks on computers in Harlem? Help someone become computer literate or cyber enabled. If you know someone who is not yet computer literate, or are a person who I helped train with the cost of passing the training onto at least two other people, I've posted the training notes HOW TO COMPUTE updated for Windows XP and Word 2003.

Instead of (or in addition to) buying the multi-hundred dollar pair of SNEAKERS, buy a computer and programs. Set up a Technology Club at the bank (or stash savings)to stay on the cutting edge in the same way you set up a Christmas Club.

For example, I'm getting into video on the web and the extra change I had stashed came in handy when I needed a video camera and Adobe Premiere. I have my first few pieces posted on my book page. Technology changes fast, and even personal computers are becoming obsolete.

Key to fixing the problem of a lack of adequate computerization is to computerize. So let's see where we are.

  1. Did Harlem ever get a computer super store? (Staples, bless their hearts, is not a computer super store. Consider a web search for "Staples" "Harlem")
  2. Did Harlem ever re-establish an effective, free, community based training for computers and other technology?
  3. Are the politicians and business folks adequately computerized?
  4. Are the senior centers and independent seniors adequately computerized?
  5. Are the community boards adequately computerized?
  6. What's the computer/student ratio in the schools and how are the children using them?
  7. Are the residents getting skills to set up on line businesses to supplement other income, share their art, reunite with family, research passions, worship and pray, build stronger multi-generational bridges, etc?
  8. What do the people see, feel, hear, taste and smell when they consider a computerized Harlem?
  9. If the level of the ocean rose quickly, as what happened during Tsunami '04 and Katrina '05, or the projected impact of global warming on coastal cities (the ice caps are melting in chunks the size of small states), how could computers be used to help folks get out alive?
I pray the answers are yes, Harlem is now adequately computerized, because computers have information folks can use to save their lives in this, the Information Age.

Like many, I watched in horror last year as Katrina come into NOLA. Harlem is a low-lying area at the edge of the ocean at the beginning of global warming, like NOLA. I noticed, among the folks caught in Katrina, not one lap top.

Web access provided supporting documentation to understand the meaning of a storm going from at Cat 2 to a Cat 5 overnight. The cloudy eye was another clue.

During Katrina, people were trapped without a way to find food, water or medical attention. Many were re-united with family and friends on line. Tearful stories.

Katrina my ass. Those without the information and the means were left to suffer. Even though the government acted like they did not know the folks were there, they did, and did nothing.

Information helps folks take care of themselves. Lack of information can leave one stranded at the Superdome (or on Sugar Hill) chanting "HELP ME! HELP ME! HELP ME!"

If a Katrina style storm happens in New York, and it can, Harlem folks should be pretty certain that the rescue helicopters will not be on 110th, 125th or 145th Streets. They will be at Wall Street and Midtown...maybe the Upper East Side.

Consider 9/11. While the government was telling folks that the dust from the WTC was not toxic and that it stayed in lower Manhattan, information on the web painted an entirely different picture. As I read about paper from the exploded World Trade Center buildings reaching Long Island (yes, they were exploded, see Loose Change, Second Edition) I asked, 'if a piece of paper traveled that far, how far did the toxic dust travel? Where did it land? OMG!!!!!!!! "

I'm still concerned about how much of the toxic dust reached Harlem (and throughout the tri-state area), and what will be the health consequences to her under-insured population. Did anybody ever test for the toxic material from the WTC in Harlem? Did it land on the buildings and streets? Was in inhaled, eaten and drank as dust on the food? Did any of the asbestos in the buildings land in the curtains, furniture and clothes uptown? What are the health effects of breathing both treated sewer air from the 5 open sewers and WTC dust?

Computers have their limitations. When 9/11 happened I emailed Clinton, Schumer and others about my concerns. They had policies in place where they don't answer emails from folks not in their district. They said to contact my senators, Kyl and McCain. Both offices told me there was no problem according to the EPA and I should mind my own business. So I put up a site, with a lot of help from World Trade Center Volunteer Albert Davis on the subject.

Second hand information in the information age is the new slavery. With computer access and skills, I find information way before the traditional broadcast and cable media can fit the story into their show line, if they think it's worth mentioning.

Those of us who are computerized have a sacred knowledge that it's imperative that we share. We never know where the next great idea, or salvation piece, will come from.

Please post your thoughts on the subject.

Happy Computing.