9/11 and Mesothelioma: The Aftermath
On September 11, 2001, more than 2,500 people died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. That was only the beginning of the death toll, pain, and suffering. Over 100,000 people were immediately exposed to hazardous levels of carcinogens since the post-9/11 dust contained as many as 2,500 different contaminants – including asbestos, lead, mercury, fiberglass, and other particulate construction debris. Symptoms from this exposure can take up to 50 years to develop. These symptoms include, but are not limited to, shortness of breath, cough, fever, fatigue, pain in the chest/lower back/abdomen, nausea/vomiting, trouble swallowing, and swelling of the face/arms.
More than 14 years later, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center continues to have devastating effects on the lives of survivors, family members, friends, and first responders involved in the disaster. And yet, the tragedy’s full impact on both the environment and the health of those affected still remains unclear. This is largely because many health conditions, such as cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, toxins, or other environmental elements, often take many years to develop.
9/11 Workers Affected
In addition to the numerous deaths that occurred on 9/11, slow killers like mesothelioma cancer continue to affect the brave women and men who worked to save others. Some of the most affected groups include:
Police – In addition to officers who were first on the scene to help people escape the debris, many police officers joined the rescue and recovery efforts, working diligently while exposing themselves to toxins and potentially developing cancer and other diseases.
Firefighters – In the aftermath of the attacks, firefighters helped put out fires, but also helped to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble. In addition to facing immediate danger from unstable wreckage and fire, they risked long-term damage by breathing in the deadly dust that circulated in the air.
Cleanup experts – It took almost a year to clean up the area known as Ground Zero. During that time, thousands of workers were exposed to varying levels of carcinogens and other contaminants.
Military and National Guard – Fear that terrorists might attempt another attack, military and National Guard personnel protected Ground Zero and surrounding areas. Soldiers stationed near Ground Zero risked breathing in asbestos and other pollutants.
Volunteers – Thousands of volunteers from organizations like The Salvation Army and The Red Cross traveled to Ground Zero to offer assistance like food, water, medicine, and shelter, likely putting them at risk for breathing in dust from the collapsed buildings.
For those who survived the attacks, and for many who helped in the search, recovery and restoration efforts after the attacks, the impact of 9/11 is still a very real concern. Given that the typical mesothelioma latency period can be anywhere from 10 years to 50 years, it’s highly likely that we’ll continue to see 9/11-related cases arise for decades to come. If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma or any respiratory illness, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced mesothelioma attorneys at The Madeksho Law Firm, PLLC today.