"This issue of The Lancet [subscription with abstracts] allows reflections on the events of 9/11, and particularly explores some of the research, review, and opinion pieces on the short-term and long-term physical, mental, and public health consequences of the terrorist attacks. The research papers report not only US domestic health effects but also some of the international consequences. Respiratory illnesses and post-traumatic stress disorder are known to be increased in those who survived the World Trade Center disaster, but data reported in this issue show that 9 years after the attacks, rescue and recovery workers continue to have substantial physical and mental health problems. No excess overall mortality is shown, although high levels of exposure to injury or to the dust cloud are linked to increased risk of all-cause and heart-disease-related mortality. An excess of cancer cases is reported in firefighters who survived the disaster which may have implications for policy on eligibility for compensation."