New York City's chief medical examiner ruled that retired police detective James Zadroga's death from lung disease in 2006 was not caused by working hundreds of hours at the World Trade Center site after 9/11.
Dr. Charles Hirsch's report rejected the results of a previous autopsy conducted by a New Jersey medical examiner that had determined Zadroga's death at 34 was "directly related" to his ingesting dust from the site. The original report had been seen as evidence of a link between the environment at the World Trade Center and workers who became ill and died after spending large amounts of time there following 9/11.
In a letter to Zadroga's father, Hirsch wrote, "It is our unequivocal opinion, with certainty beyond doubt, that the foreign material in your son's lungs did not get there as the result of inhaling dust at the World Trade Center or elsewhere."
The letter did not state where the foreign material found in Zadroga's lungs might have come from.