The judge who approved the settlement for thousands of first responders exposed to toxic World Trade Center dust after the Sept. 11 attacks has banned their lawyers from charging their clients for $6.1 million in interest on money they borrowed to fund the litigation.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein made the decision during a New York City hearing Friday to examine the fees that were requested after the settlement was announced.

Earlier this year, the judge signed off on a deal that could pay more than $700 million to about 10,000 police officers, firefighters and construction workers. The deal still must be approved by 95 percent of the plaintiffs before becoming final.