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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 June, 2004, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Actor Cruise opens detox centre
Tom Cruise
Cruise is a keen follower of the Church of Scientology
Actor Tom Cruise has opened a detox centre in New York for rescue workers exposed to toxic material during the 11 September attacks on the US in 2001.

The centre, based in Long Island, New York, is the second detox centre to be funded by the 41-year-old movie star.

In March, he raised $1.2m (666,000) towards treatment for workers who sifted through tonnes of debris.

"It's been almost three years since the attacks, and thousands are still suffering," he said.

"That's unacceptable to me, to these heroes, and to their families," Cruise said during the inauguration on Wednesday.

Alternative treatment

Ailments suffered by the rescue workers have been dubbed "9/11 syndrome".

The first centre, which was opened in Manhattan in 2002, was partly funded by L Ron Hubbard's Church of Scientology, of which Cruise is a member.

The alternative treatment, outlined in Hubbard's book Clear Body, Clear Mind, uses "exercise, sauna sweat-out, vitamins and minerals" to help rescue workers cleanse their bodies of toxic materials.

The first centre is said to have treated more than 400 rescue workers so far.

Cruise's sister and spokeswoman Lee Anne DeVette said he "will open several more of the facilities through the rest of the year".

"It's something he cares a great deal about and it helps so much."

Cruise, who most recently starred in the historical epic The Last Samurai, is about to start work on the third Mission: Impossible film, in which he will star and co-produce.

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