9/11 and Asbestos Mesothelioma

9/11 and Asbestos Mesothelioma was an alarm bell amidst the lasting impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, which is something that won’t soon be forgotten. Those horrendous images are emblazoned on the American conscious. One area of impact that has gone largely unnoticed is the danger that asbestos has posed to first responders.

The World Trade Center buildings, constructed before much of the useful research on asbestos was readily available, were teeming with asbestos materials. Experts have estimated that more than 400 tons of asbestos was in the Twin Towers. The safety of asbestos is under scrutiny under normal circumstances, but the concern is amplified for first responders and those who stayed to perform search and rescue in the months that followed the collapse who were subject to 9/11 and Asbestos Mesothelioma risks.

Asbestos Exposure

Journalists and health officials who have looked for links between 9/11 and Asbestos Mesothelioma have uncovered disturbing findings. They learned that toxic clouds of burning asbestos greeted the firefighters and police officers as they arrived on the scene. There are scores of examples. Take, for example, Deborah Reeve, an emergency medical technician (EMT), who was on the scene that day. She died in 2006 as a result of mesothelioma. Experts believe that, considering the enormous about of asbestos she was exposed to, she quickly contracted the disease at Ground Zero.

In the hopes of preventing a slew of such deaths in the coming years, doctors have strongly urged that anyone present at Ground Zero that day or in the following months be tested regularly to make sure they are not showing symptoms of mesothelioma. These tests include chest X-rays and lung-function examinations to determine the 9/11 and Asbestos Mesothelioma effects.

In 2007, U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urged legislative action that would reopen the September 11 Fund due to the ongoing lung problems in first responders. The official compensation fund had been closed to new applications since 2003. Supporters argued that while symptoms of mesothelioma take years to show up, up to 70 percent of first responders have shown signs of the condition. For her part, Pelosi argued that the link between 9/11 and Asbestos Mesothelioma was too strong to deny workers the financial compensation they deserved.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also responded sharply to criticism that said it deliberately misled the workers in the months following the tragedy about the dangers of 9/11 and Asbestos Mesothelioma from the fallen towers. Though the first responders were encouraged to use paper masks, they were told that respirators were unnecessary and that the levels of asbestos were not harmful. This has since proven to be optimistic at best and deceptive at worst. EPA officials have gone on record to defend their statements in those early months, despite evidence to the contrary.

In recent years, more research has come out about the connection between 9/11 and Asbestos Mesothelioma.