NEW YORK - An organization co-founded by actor Tom Cruise has raised $1.2 million to expand a treatment program for rescue workers exposed to potentially hazardous materials after the collapse of the World Trade Center.
The New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project said it has treated more than 200 workers who say they were suffering effects from breathing the air filled with smoke, dust and debris after the Sept. 11, 2001, destruction of the trade center.
The money raised by Cruise and others would expand the project to treat twice as many people, said Keith Miller, the project's director. The treatment is provided at no cost.
Cruise said during a fund-raiser for the project last week that seeing images of the plume of smoke billowing from the trade center rubble on Sept. 11 prompted him to act.
"Shortly thereafter I visited ground zero and knew immediately that not only would people be getting ill, very ill, but that it would be sooner rather than later," he said, according to a statement released Wednesday by the project.
The project's program consists of a medically monitored regimen of exercise, sauna sweat-out, vitamins and minerals to help rescue workers cleanse their bodies of toxic residues. It was developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, of which Cruise is a member.