September 11th’s Physical Trauma Rivals Its Emotional Trauma

The horrific attacks of September 11th on the World Trade Center forever changed American history. As may be expected the emotional trauma subjected on Americans steadfastly remains, but so have the physical injuries inflicted on nearly all of the thirty thousand first responders that worked to save lives that day. These physical injuries have morphed into the diseases that often occur following extreme exposure to asbestos fibers. Our Illinois asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys are exceptionally experienced at obtaining the maximum compensation for our clients.

The original World Trade Center was a collection of buildings in New York City’s financial district that were completed in 1985. The two most prominent of these buildings were the two towers; each of the towers stood 110 stories tall, making them among the largest buildings in the world. Because the structures were constructed primarily in the 1970s, many of the construction and building materials contained large amounts of asbestos. This had never been a problem until September 11th, 2001.

When the planes crashed into the two towers and sent them crumbling to the ground, approximately two thousand tons of asbestos was released into the air in the form of dust. This dust was unpreventable inhaled for extended durations of time by roughly thirty thousand first rescue responders. This dust lingered for a matter of days before eventually dissipating and dispersing throughout the city.

Now that it has been over a decade, researchers are finally able to gather more accurate data about the devastating physical effects of September 11th. In a recent report researchers discovered that 30 percent of first responders had been diagnosed with asthma, forty percent had been diagnosed with severe sinus problems, and another forty-five percent had been diagnosed with gastro-esophageal reflux, which is a precursor to the very dangerous esophageal cancer.

Another very large concern of physicians is the high likelihood that these individuals will develop mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a very serious type of cancer. It begins to form in the lung’s lining, eventually destroying the lung and many of the surrounding organs. As a result, individuals with mesothelioma have extreme difficulty breathing and many victims of the disease do not survive even a year after prognosis.

In addition to the health concerns of the first rescue responders, researchers are also worried about the damaging effects these asbestos fibers had on individuals that lived near the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks. The proliferation of the dust containing asbestos also exposed these residents for dangerous durations of time as well. However, while these concerns are completely valid and scientifically plausible, researchers have not obtained enough information to determine its accuracy or the prevalence of mesothelioma in these individuals.

This information is especially difficult to swallow because of the pain that still lingers from the September 11th attacks. Currently, New York has been in the process of rebuilding the World Trade Center site with a combination of memorial monuments and new infrastructure. This construction, with the resilience of American unity, has enabled us to remember the attacks but move on to the future. However, the recent development of mesothelioma and other diseases impedes such emotional progress.

It is especially difficult because the victims now suffering with mesothelioma might have to sue the city and construction companies for using asbestos in the World Trade Center. This is uniquely painful because it exudes a sense of blaming the city and companies, rather than Al Qaeda, for the attacks. Unfortunately, lawsuits are among the only avenues of recovery for these individuals. If you or a family member has suffered from mesothelioma or any asbestos-related disease, you should contact an attorney immediately.

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