Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Brings Threat Of Mesothelioma, Awareness of Asbestos ExposureAsbestos Exposure & Bans
Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource
The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.
Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.
More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.
About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com
- Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
- Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
- A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
- 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."LashawnMesothelioma patient’s daughter
How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article
Povtak, T. (2021, November 5). Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Brings Threat Of Mesothelioma, Awareness of Asbestos Exposure. Asbestos.com. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2011/09/06/tenth-anniversary-9-11-mesothelioma-asbestos/
Povtak, Tim. "Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Brings Threat Of Mesothelioma, Awareness of Asbestos Exposure." Asbestos.com, 5 Nov 2021, https://www.asbestos.com/news/2011/09/06/tenth-anniversary-9-11-mesothelioma-asbestos/.
Povtak, Tim. "Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Brings Threat Of Mesothelioma, Awareness of Asbestos Exposure." Asbestos.com. Last modified November 5, 2021. https://www.asbestos.com/news/2011/09/06/tenth-anniversary-9-11-mesothelioma-asbestos/.
The official opening Sunday of the National 9/11 Memorial on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center in New York City is designed to help America remember, but it will also provide some closure for families of those who died.
There will be no closure for the illnesses left behind.
Although tens of thousands more first responders, volunteer workers, residents nearby have been suffering for years from a wide range of physical and psychological ailments related to 9/11, the real death toll from the attack will not be known fully for decades to come.
The threat of mesothelioma, the slow-developing cancer caused by an exposure to asbestos, is just beginning.
The much-chronicled “World Trade Center Cough,” a respiratory ailment that has dogged thousands, could be just the tip of the iceberg. The long-range health problems — cancers like mesothelioma that takes many more years to emerge — could be even more deadly.
The dust cloud that lingered over Lower Manhattan for weeks after the attack was a cocktail of toxic poisons, including an estimated 400 tons of asbestos fibers— that already have led to hundreds of deaths and could lead to thousands more.
Although various studies through the past decade have shown that responders, residents and workers in New York have suffered from respiratory problems stemming from the airborne poisons, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health did not find enough evidence to include cancer among the illnesses covered in the last $2.8 billion 9/11 healthcare funding bill.
That could change soon. A new study released last week and published in the Journal Lancet, found firefighters who worked at the World Trade Center were 19 percent more likely to have cancer than those who did not.
Instead of relying on the anecdotal evidence that seemed so prevalent in the past, this study showed the first definitive link to cancer that was undeniable because it included a benchmark to work against.
“This is not an epidemic, but an increased risk,” said Dr. David Prezant, chief medical officer of the FDNY, during a news conference to explain the study results.
The study identified 263 cases of cancer among fire fighters who were at Ground Zero in the days after the attack, as compared to 153 cases of cancer among fire-fighters who were not there, according in Time Inc.
Although the difference was not as significant as some expected, part of the reason is that many of the cancers — like mesothelioma — usually don’t begin showing up until at least 10 years after exposure. Symptoms typically don’t appear for 20 years or longer.
There already was at least one highly publicized mesothelioma death, early in 2006, within the New York Fire Department (an emergency medical technician) that was traced directly to asbestos exposure from 9/11. There have been other mesothelioma cases, but they were not so definitively linked to 9/11.
An estimated 90 percent of the New York City firefighters working at Ground Zero complained of various coughing symptoms. Many developed serious symptoms often associated with asthma or bronchitis. For some, their conditions became chronic, requiring long-term treatment. Respiratory illnesses also have been widely reported from residents living in Lower Manhattan close to the site.
The problems were not unexpected. A mixture of asbestos, cement, glass fibers, combusting jet fuel and a variety of other toxic chemicals from collapsed buildings created a volatile mixture of carcinogens.
According to Dr. Joan Reibman, director of the New York City World Trade Center Health and Environmental Center, these respiratory illnesses now suggest that there are increased risks for abnormal lung function in the future.
“We’ve just begun to understand what’s happening after the World Trade Center,” Prezant said. “We may find that some of our conclusions change over time, get stronger, or change entirely.”