* Politicians excluded from speaking at anniversary

* At least 1,000 emergency workers have died from respiratory ailments

* WTC collapse, jet fuel and burning plastics released carcinogens

By Chris Francescani

NEW YORK, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Eleven years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, New Yorkers will mark the anniversary on Tuesday against a backdrop of health concerns for emergency workers and a feud over financing that has stopped construction of the $1 billion Ground Zero museum.

While notable progress on redevelopment of the World Trade Center has been made since early disputes over financial, design and security issues, the project remains hobbled by political battles and billions of dollars in cost overruns.

A major sticking point is the museum at the heart of the World Trade Center (WTC) site redevelopment. Construction has been suspended because of a feud over finances between the National September 11 Memorial and Museum foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

When the foundation announced recently that for the first time, politicians would be excluded from having speaking roles in the Sept. 11 anniversary ceremonies, it was seen by many victims' families and others in the 9/11 community as a public reflection of these behind-the-scenes disputes.

Overall site redevelopment costs have grown to nearly $15 billion, up from $11 billion in 2008, according to a recent project audit.

But for many of the families of 9/11 victims and ailing Ground Zero workers, the redevelopment disputes are a disheartening sideshow to the rising loss of human lives.

When the 110-storey Twin Towers came down, thousands of tons of steel, concrete, window glass and asbestos came down with it. While thousands of gallons (litres) of flaming jet fuel and burning plastics released deadly carcinogens.

Last week, the New York City Fire Department added nine names to the 55 already etched on a wall honoring members who have died of illnesses related to Ground Zero rescue and recovery work.

Some estimates put the overall death toll from 9/11-related illness at more than 1,000. Nationwide, at least 20,000 Ground Zero workers are being treated and 40,000 are being monitored by the World Trade Center Health Program.

"We're burying guys left and right," said Nancy Carbone, executive director of Friends of Firefighters, a Brooklyn-based non-profit that helps treat first responders. "This is an ongoing epidemic."

In the past seven weeks, three New York City cops, two firefighters and a construction union worker who toiled at Ground Zero have died of cancer or respiratory illnesses, according John Feal, who runs a non profit that monitors Ground Zero health care issues.

The staggered nature of the respiratory diagnoses have complicated efforts to distribute $2.7 billion in federal victim compensation funds. A range of cancers is expected to be added to the list of ailments covered by the fund this month.

Leslie Haskins, who lost her husband on 9/11, said she has grown disillusioned by the politics of the reconstruction, and wants to see more attention paid to the ailing workers.

"They are sick and dying and their marriages are breaking up," she said. "Why are we pouring all this money into buildings when men don't have enough insurance to buy breathing apparatus?"


PROGRESS AND SETBACKS

Retired Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) battalion chief Jim Riches, who spent nine months digging through the rubble at Ground Zero before his firefighter son's body was recovered, called the reconstruction disputes "a disgrace."

Seven years ago, Riches was hospitalized with acute respiratory disease and fell into a 16-hour coma. He came out of the coma with stroke-like symptoms.

"We can send men to the moon but we can't rebuild some buildings in more than 10 years?" he asked.

Some progress has been made by Larry Silverstein, the developer who owned the lease on the Twin Towers and is now building three office tower at the Ground Zero site, and the Port Authority. The September 11 foundation has also raised hundreds of millions in private and public funding for the overall project.

One step forward was last fall's opening of the September 11 Memorial at Ground Zero, twin reflecting pools in the footprints of the towers. More than four million people have visited.

Also, One World Trade Center, one of the tallest towers in the country, is near completion and expected to open in 2014.

Yet disagreements over costs have undermined the rebuilding and hurt public relations. Among the disputes, the September 11 foundation insists the Port Authority owes it $140 million, according to a source familiar with the financial issues.

The Port Authority believes it is owed $300 million, the source said.

Feal, a demolitions expert who lost part of his leg doing post 9/11 recovery work, is among those who said they are tired of reading about the contentious World Trade Center project when health concerns persist.

"2,751 lives were lost that day," he said "That's sad, but they didn't suffer long. These first responders have been slowly dying for 11 years."

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  • A woman cries while looking at the names inscribed at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Justin Lane, Pool / Getty Images)

  • A woman cries while looking at the names inscribed at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Justin Lane, Pool / Getty Images)

  • Family members gather at the edge of the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Justin Lane, Pool / Getty Images)

  • A flag hangs from 1 World Trade Center, left, as friends and family of the victims of 9/11 attend a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • Former U.S. President George W. Bush and family and the U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama view the North memorial pool during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Carolyn Cole, Pool / Getty Images)

  • Family members of the victims enter the 9/11 Memorial Plaza for the first time during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

  • People gather to watch the Sept. 11 memorial ceremony on the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 in New York, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Myra Iqbal, AOL)

  • Bagpipers walk towards the stage past the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during 10th anniversary ceremony of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Justin Lane, Pool / Getty Images)

  • People gather during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, outside the World Trade Center site in New York. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Family members pay respects in front of one of the two waterfall pools during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, at the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

  • People gather during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, outside the World Trade Center site in New York. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • People gather during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, outside the World Trade Center site in New York. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Family members of the victims of the attacks at the World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2001, enter the Sept. 11 memorial plaza during the 10th anniversary ceremonies at the site, Sunday Sept. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Chip Somodevilla, Pool)

  • A woman reacts after the name of a family member is read during a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, Pool)

  • Family members visit the south reflecting pool of the Sept. 11 memorial during 10th anniversary at the site, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Todd Heisler, Pool)

  • The World Trade Center flag is presented during a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center site in New York, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush attend a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • Paulette Nelson, from Savannah, Ga., watches a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 in New York. (Myra Iqbal, AOL)

  • New York City Commemorates 10th Anniversary Of 9-11 Terror Attacks

    NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Paul Simon performs at the 9/11 Memorial during the tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site, September 11, 2011 in New York City. New York City and the nation are commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Allan Tannenbaum-Pool/Getty Images)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    People tie ribbons to the St. Pauls Chapel fence in commemoration of the September 11th attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    People tie ribbons to the St. Pauls Chapel fence in commemoration of the September 11th attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    People tie ribbons to the St. Pauls Chapel fence in commemoration of the September 11th attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    People tie ribbons to the St. Pauls Chapel fence in commemoration of the September 11th attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Road blocks in downtown Manhattan with police inspections have been formed in light of a possible terror plot to attack the National September 11th Memorial at Ground Zero. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Chere Rosadesharon sells posters to passersby at the FDNY Memorial Wall at Ground Zero. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Ray Coyle holds a wooden flower with an eagle imprinted on it that he sells to people at the FDNY Memorial Wall at Ground Zero. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Firefighters pose for a photo at the FDNY Memorial Wall at Ground Zero. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Visitors to Ground Zero place mementos at the FDNY Memorial Wall. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Visitors to Ground Zero write on a poster at the Ground Zero site. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Denise Rooney and son Tomas Rooney check out the FDNY Memorial Wall to find what they believe is a distant relative from England that was killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Tim Bolles and daughters Anna and Averyl check out a sign with the names of the victims of the terrorist attacks on the United State. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Seon Youhg from South Korea places a note card sentiment for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States on a board in Battery Park. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Tom Steel and Pam Crabb both from England pose for photographs in Battery Park. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Visitors to Battery Park check out the thousands of flags erected in the park in remembrance of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Visitors to Battery Park check out the thousands of flags erected in the park in remembrance of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Visitors to Battery Park check out the thousands of flags erected in the park in remembrance of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    Roberta Daveri and Laura Todescato both from Italy check out the notes people had written and attached to a board setup in Battery Park. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    A large amount of police cruisers and officers arrive at the National September 11th Memorial in prepartion for the opening of the Memorial on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    A large amount of police cruisers and officers arrive at the National September 11th Memorial in prepartion for the opening of the Memorial on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    An overview of the National September 11th Memorial site can be seen on September 10, 2011. People from all over the world flock to Ground Zero for the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on Saturday September 10, 2011. (Damon Dahlen, AOL)

  • The annual “Tribute in Light” memorial e

    The annual “Tribute in Light” memorial echoing the twin towers of the World Trade Center illuminates the night sky during the 10th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the lower Manhattan site of the World Trade Center September 11, 2011, in this view from Bayonne, New Jersey. Also seen are the Statue of Liberty (C) and 1 World Trade Center (L). AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • September 11th Ten Year Anniversary at Ground Zero

    A beam of light shines at ground zero on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in the Manhattan Borough of New York on Saturday, September 10, 2011. (Myra Iqbal, AOL)