NEW YORK - A top US health official approved a recommendation on Friday to include certain cancers among health conditions covered by a $4.3 billion compensation fund to help with treatment costs of people exposed to toxic material after September 11 attacks in 2001.

The decision by Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program, approved all of the 14 cancers recommended by the program's advisory committee.

"We recognize how personal the issue of cancer and all of the health conditions related to the World Trade Center tragedy are to 9/11 responders, survivors and their loved ones," he said in a statement.

The decision comes as welcome news for members of the emergency services and people who lived or worked in downtown Manhattan and developed cancers after September 11 but were previously ineligible for compensation from the fund.

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