In this file photo, firefighters make their way over the...

In this file photo, firefighters make their way over the ruins of the World Trade Center through clouds of smoke at ground zero in New York. (Oct. 11, 2001) Credit: AP

Despite the obvious health impacts on those who worked around the dangerous dust of what was called "the pile" at Ground Zero, Congress was in no big rush to pass the Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act. It took a decade to pass this law, named for an NYPD officer who died of respiratory disease attributed to toxic dust at Ground Zero. But it did get done.

Then the battle raged around which diseases should be listed as 9/11-related. This month, a final federal rule was announced, including about 60 types of cancer. That's welcome news.

The next step is the bureaucratic slog that faces every Zadroga claimant. It's appropriate for the government to review those claims carefully. Still, after all the time it has taken to get to this point, the government must strive to make the certification process as speedy as it is thorough.

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