AIKEN, S.C. (AP) – A nun who said her lungs were permanently damaged after she spent six months at ground zero following the Sept. 11 attacks has died.

Sister Cynthia Mahoney died Wednesday at her Aiken home, the Shellhouse Funeral Home said.

No cause of death was given, but Mahoney, 54, had said in several interviews that she thought poisoned air caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers gave her a deadly mix of asthma and pulmonary and digestive problems.

Mahoney had asked that results of her autopsy be used in a class-action lawsuit by ground zero workers who said the air around the lower Manhattan site sickened them.

Mahoney spent every day for six months after the 2001 attacks as a chaplain and an emergency medical technician.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said Mahoney’s death should be more proof of how dangerous it was to work at ground zero.

Mahoney’s funeral will be Saturday at Shellhouse Funeral Home’s chapel in Aiken. A private burial will follow.

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