What Was in the Dust from the World Trade Center?

By Hansen & Rosasco

The answer is the carcinogen asbestos. Exposure to asbestos causes the deadly cancer mesothelioma.

In a Scientific American article, David Biello pointed out that burning plastic and asbestos released countless dioxins into the air upon the destruction of the Twin Towers. Ironically, the purpose of using asbestos in the construction of these structures was to serve as a flame retardant. Hundreds of tons of asbestos were part of the World Trade Center. Millions of asbestos fibers floated in the air on 9/11 and in the months that followed. And one form of cancer that is inextricably linked to asbestos exposure is mesothelioma. Here are two especially serious points about 9/11, asbestos, and mesothelioma.

  1. Since the symptoms and the diagnosis of mesothelioma can take anywhere from 13 to 50 years to develop, that number of mesothelioma cases will continue to rise now that it is over 19 years since 9/11.
  2. Tests conducted by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) showed that 25 percent of the dust samples taken from the air at Ground Zero shortly after the attacks revealed asbestos levels were above the one percent safety threshold to indicate serious risk. This was in stark contrast to former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman’s statement of how the air at the disaster site and surrounding areas was safe to breathe.

Dust came from everything and spread everywhere

In addition to asbestos, other ground up materials which resulted in the dust cloud of 9/11 were from cement, steel, drywall, cellulose (from paper), synthetic molecules (from rugs), glass fibers and even human hair. Many of the people who breathed in this dust-laden air – first responders, residents, employees, students and teachers who populated 9/11 “Exposure Area” – were eventually stricken with one (or more) of over 70 types of cancer or other type of 9/11-related illness. Others developed respiratory diseases such as asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and digestive conditions that include GERD and  stomach (gastric) cancer, among many other conditions.

The law firm of Hansen & Rosasco, LLP has represented many survivors of 9/11 who became sick as a result of having breathed the toxic dust that permeated the air of Lower Manhattan in the days and months after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. In fact, we are exclusively devoted to legal representation of survivors of 9/11 and families of 9/11 victims.

Were you anywhere in the 9/11 “ExposureZone” (below Canal Street and Clinton Street in Lower Manhattan) anytime from September 11, 2001 to May 2002? If you were, or know someone who had been there, you may be eligible for financial compensation under either the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) or health benefits under the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP).

The devastation and sense of loss from the attacks on the World Trade Center altered the lives of too many people who have become sick or since died from exposure to the dust that spread through Ground Zero. Contact us today, and we can help determine if you are eligible to receive benefits from the VCF or WTCHP. Either call us at 1-855-201-4092 or visit us at our website for further information.

Posted under: 9/11 Victim Compensation
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