The 70,000 surviving firefighters, police officers and other first responders who raced to the World Trade Center after the attacks on September 11th, will be entitled to free monitoring and treatment for some 50 forms of cancer.
While other illnesses have long been covered by a compensation scheme, there has been a long debate over including cancers.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has said that responders as well as survivors exposed to toxic compounds from the wreckage, which smoldered for three months, will be covered for cancer under the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
Illnesses related to the attacks have caused an estimated 1,000 deaths. Last week, the New York City Fire Department etched nine more names into a memorial wall honouring firefighters who died from illnesses after their work at Ground Zero, bringing the total to 64.