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Fallout: 9/11 and the Risk of Ground Zero
It is no secret the terrible attack on the World Trade Centre on September 11,2001 had many affects on the lives of New Yorkers. Over 2,500 lives were tragically taken on that day and the days to follow. Now, over ten years later, the general public is taking notice of more WTC casualities as the nation’s first responders, and NYC residents are dying of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease.
Doctors and other experts have long predicted that the future held an onslaught of mesolthelioma cases in the NYC area which was caused by the torrent of asbestos fibres that rained down on the city’s fire fighters, police, paramedics and other local residents. Those who remained in the city can recall that lower manhattan was covered in a grayish dust which was said to be consisted of glass shards, asbestos, lead, mercury, cadmium, dioxins and various other dangerous substances.
It is unclear how much asbestos was actually released into the air upon the demolition of the the towers’ remains. However, the WTC construction had commenced before the use of asbestos was banned. Subsequently, a spray-on asbestos fire retardant was reportedly used in the lower section of the towers. When use of asbestos was banned in 1971, the remaining areas of the towers were fitted with a different insulating material. Despite this, it is said that up to 400 tonnes of asbestos fiber was in the buildings when they collapsed.
Many first-responders developed immediate health problems such as the “The World Trade Centre Cough” . One study even revealed that over 85% of those who initially responded to the tragedy were suffering from some sort of respiratory illness. Studies have shown that over 110,000 (est) people have potentially been exposed to the deadly substance.
These same reports show that in an effort to quickly clean up debris, proper precautions were not taken to protect workers from harm nor were standard and necessary asbestos abatement procedures followed.
Asbestos related deaths are expected to increase drastically, not just in NY, but throughout the world as well due to it being commonly used in the past for building and construction material. As the popularity of DIY home renovation tv-series’ increase, do do the amount of people who practice it which has subsequently raised the risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos related disease.
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