Blurry crowd of students walking through NYC.

Tens of thousands of students in Lower Manhattan breathed in 9/11 dust and experienced high levels of asbestos exposure which was released into the air by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. One week after the attacks, students at the Downtown NYC schools — including 28 NYC public schools, the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Pace University, and New York Law School — were promised, falsely, by EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman that the air was “safe to breathe” and the water clean to drink. Based on this false promise, over 40,000 students and 3,000 teachers returned to their classrooms – only to breathe what scientific studies have proven to be a highly toxic mixture of asbestos, heavy metals, and other poisons. This lethal combination made the students and teachers sick – beginning right away in 2001 with the “World Trade Center” cough and breathing problems, including asthma. In the years since then, the medical studies confirm that the 9/11 dust and high levels of asbestos exposure have had a long-term impact on the health of these Downtown NYC students and teachers. Many are suffering from serious lifelong health problems, including about 70 different types of cancers. Because of this development, 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund eligibility includes both students and teachers of Lower Manhattan.

It has been just over 18 years since the 9/11 attacks, and the federal government recently passed the “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11 Victim Compensation Act” to keep the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund open until the year 2090. Among those recognized are the youngest survivors of the 9/11 attacks: the students at Downtown NYC schools, many of who need medical care for the rest of their lives. These Downtown area students, as well as the residents and employees of Lower Manhattan, breathed in the same toxins and contaminants that has sickened so many 9/11 first responders.

Carl Campanile in The New York Post recently reported the efforts underway by New York City education officials to contact the 19,000-plus students who attended one of the 28 public schools in Lower Manhattan (schools south of Houston Street) on September 11, 2001 and during the remainder of the 2001-2002 school year. The purpose of this communication is to alert these former students of their eligibility for free lifetime medical care because they unfortunately are at a serious risk of suffering from a 9/11-related illness, which include many types of cancers. In a community outreach seminar that took place at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza stated that mailings and social media campaigns are being launched to contact all of the 19,000 students to let them know of the available health benefits under the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP), as well as survivor compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

The Department of Education is also working with the United Federation of Teachers in reaching out to the 3,000-plus instructors who were teaching in Lower Manhattan during the 2001-2002 school year. BMCC also sent out letters to over 20,000 of its students who were enrolled during the 2001-2002 school year, urging them to apply for lifetime health benefits from the WTCHP and survivor compensation from the 9/11 VCF. Students from the following schools are eligible: 

  •       PS 1: Alfred Smith, 8 Henry Street
  •       PS 2: Meyer London, 122 Henry Street
  •       PS 42: Benjamin Altman, 71 Hester Street
  •       PS 89, 201 Warren Street
  •       PS 110: Florence Nightingale, 285 Delancey Street
  •       PS 124: Yung Wing School, 40 Division Street
  •       PS 126: Jacob Riis, 80 Catherine Street
  •       PS 130: Hernando Desoto School, 143 Baxter Street
  •       PS 134: Henrietta Szold School, 293 East Broadway
  •       PS 137: John Bernstein, 293 East Broadway
  •       PS 140: Nathan Straus, 123 Ridge Street
  •       PS 142: Amalia Castro School, 100 Attorney Street
  •       PS 150, 334 Greenwich Street
  •       PS 184: Shuang Wen School, 327 Cherry Street
  •       PS 188: Island School, 442 E. Houston Street
  •       PS 234, 292 Greenwich Street
  •       MS 131 Sun Yat Sen School, 100 Hester Street
  •       Bard High School, 525 E. Houston Street
  •       Chelsea Career and Technical High School, 200 Monroe Street
  •       City As School High School, 16 Clarkson Street
  •       High School of Economics and Finance, 100 Trinity Place
  •       John V. Lindsay Wildcat Academy Charter School, 17 Battery Place
  •       Leadership & Public Service High School, 90 Trinity Place
  •       Marta Valle High School, 145 Stanton Street
  •       Murry Bergtraum High School, 411 Pearl Street
  •       NEST, 111 Columbia Street
  •       Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chamber Street
  •       University Neighborhood High School, 200 Monroe Street
  •       Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)
  •       Pace University
  •       New York Law School

Were you or a family member a student in Lower Manhattan near the NYC “Crash Site” during the 2001-2002 school year? If so, you should contact the 9/11 Zadroga Act lawyers at Turley Hansen & Rosasco, LLP today to learn more about your 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund eligibility. It’s important that you register with the Victim Compensation Fund while you are still able to locate the witnesses whose acknowledgement is necessary to preserve your rights under the VCF, even if you are not sick. Many students of Lower Manhattan who breathed in 9/11 dust and experienced high levels of asbestos exposure have been diagnosed with 9/11-related illnesses, including many cancers. As frightening as it may be, it often takes years for a 9/11 cancer or illness to develop. This is why we urge you to take these actions now.

Give us a call today at 1-855-201-4092. A member of our team of highly qualified 9/11 Zadroga Act lawyers is ready to give you the help and guidance in filing a claim with the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. To learn more about 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund eligibility, click here.