First Responders, Others at Risk
Not only were there thousands of people trapped in downtown Manhattan that day as the World Trade Center towers fell, there were also thousands of first responders who swarmed onto the scene. They were all exposed to an estimated 400 tons of asbestos in the air after the buildings collapsed.
Many of these people suffered severe health effects as a result of this exposure, including a form of cancer known as mesothelioma. This horrible disease has only one known cause – the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers. Even worse, the numbers will likely grow substantially over time, since many people with mesothelioma don’t start showing symptoms for 20 or 30 years or even longer after they are exposed.
Not only did innocent civilians and first responders breathe in asbestos fibers, untold numbers of others were exposed long after the attacks. Clean-up crews, construction workers and thousands of others inhaled fibers, as did firefighters who were still extinguishing blazes at the site five months later.