Adults weren’t the only people who found themselves near the World Trade Center and in Lower Manhattan on September 11th, 2001. Plenty of children were in the area on that terrible day, and a new study has come to a disturbing conclusion: kids exposed to the toxic dust cloud that arose from the debris have shown early warning signs of cardiovascular disease.

The report, published in the journal Environment International just before the 16th anniversary of the attacks, analyzed the blood tests of 308 children, 123 of whom may have come in direct contact with the toxic dust cloud on 9/11. The researchers discovered that those children who had higher blood levels of the chemicals known to be in the dust also had elevated levels of artery-hardening fats in their blood.

As reported by NYU Langone Health, which sponsored the study, lead investigator Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP said that says the long-term danger may arise from exposure to certain perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which were chemicals released into the air as electronics and furniture burned in the aftermath of the Towers’ collapse. These include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which were widely used to make plastics more flexible until its health effects, including lower-than-normal birthweights and brain damage, led U.S. manufacturers to discontinue their use in 2014.

The study found that roughly every threefold increase in blood PFOA levels was tied to an average 9 percent to 15 percent increase in blood fats, including LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Elevated LDL levels are a known risk factor for heart disease and can lead to blocked arteries and heart attacks if left untreated.

Fortunately, elevated LDL levels can be reduced through changes to diet and lifestyle. But, according to Dr. Trasande, identifying potential heart risks requires careful monitoring of kids exposed to 9/11 dust: “Our study emphasizes the importance of monitoring the health consequences from 9/11 in children exposed to the dust, and offers hope that early intervention can alleviate some of the dangers to health posed by the disaster.”

Young Adults Experiencing Health Problems Due to 9/11

Those who were children on the day of the 9/11 attacks are now young adults. If you or a loved one was a child in Lower Manhattan that day and are concerned about 9/11-related health problems, cost-free health monitoring and medical treatment may be available to you. Both the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) were established specifically for that purpose.

However, you must register your claims with both programs in order to get the help you need. The registration process can be tricky and detailed, involves the submission of significant information and supporting documentation, and is subject to strict filing deadlines. If you fail to submit your claim properly or miss those deadlines, you could lose your ability to get compensation and care that is there specifically to assist 9/11 victims. That’s why over 80% of all 9/11 victims choose to have a WTC lawyer help them with their claims.

At Turley Hansen & Partners, we have been helping survivors, first responders, and recovery workers recover compensation since shortly after the World Trade Center fell. Our extensive experience and deep commitment to 9/11 victims has resulted in the recovery of over $75 million in VCF compensation on behalf of over 1,200 clients.

Please call us today at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) or fill out our contact form to arrange for your free 9/11 claim evaluation. We look forward to assisting you.