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Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos-Related Illnesses Rising in 9/11 Responders

Posted by Michael Throneberry | Nov 19, 2021

According to a recent analysis, published on September 2, 2021, approximately a month before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, cancer and leukemia cases have increased among the general responders and firefighters who were involved in rescue efforts in the World Trade Center. According to the study conducted published by Cambridge University Press, leukemia has become predominant among first responders than other cancers, with a 175% increase in cases since 2016. Erin Smith believes that the increase in leukemia cases may be because the disease took almost 20 years after benzene exposure to develop. The researcher also believes that previous studies might have been conducted too early to identify any elevated risk.

Apart from leukemia, the study notes that there has also been an uptick in asbestos-related lung conditions among the health program enrollees in the last five years. For example, mesothelioma, an aggressive asbestos-related cancer, is a huge concern for health program enrollees. With over 132,000 responders affected, Erin Smith believes this number may increase. This is because mesothelioma can take between 20 to 50 years after asbestos exposure to develop. The first mesothelioma-related death among 9/11 responders was recorded 18 years after the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately, Erin Smith believes that more deaths will come.

According to previous research, even though the precise materials at the World Trade Center site are unknown, up to 2,000 tons of asbestos were used in its construction. According to the CDC, after the twin towers fell, more than 400,000 people were exposed to the dust created. Even though the Environmental Protection Agency initially declared that the site posed no health risks, the agency's statement was contradicted two years later. Now, first responders are witnessing the negative consequences of the toxic substances to which they were exposed. According to the analysis, more 9/11 responders are joining the World Trade Center Health Program every year, since their health is worsening as the years go by. Unfortunately, brave individuals who ran into the burning buildings on September 11, 2001, who climbed under, over, and through the debris for months while breathing in toxic dust, continue paying a heavy price for their acts of bravery.

The World Trade Center Health Program

The World Trade Center Health Program is a health program that provides medical monitoring and treatment of WTC-related health conditions for 9/11 responders and survivors. According to the CDC, four groups of people affected by the 9/11 attacks can apply to the WTC Health Program. They are:

  • New York City Fire Department responders
  • World Trade Center general responders
  • World Trade Center survivors (those who lived, worked, or went to school in NYC Disaster Area) and
  • Pentagon/Shanksville responders

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

About the Author

Michael Throneberry

Attorney Michael Throneberry graduated from Purdue University with a Civil Engineering degree. He then served with the United States Army...

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