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Mesothelioma: How September 11th is Still Impacting Our Nation Today

— September 26, 2019

If you were involved in responding to the attacks, it’s critical to notify your physician and get screened regularly, particularly for mesothelioma.

Almost two decades later, the death toll from September 11th, 2001, continues to climb as responders and local civilians are diagnosed with illnesses related to the World Trade Center dust. Unfortunately, many workers opted out of wearing protective gear after the EPA announced that there were no significant levels of asbestos dust and the air was safe to breathe. They were eventually forced to retract their statement as thousands of responders and volunteers began to suffer from symptoms of toxic exposure. As a result, in 2011 The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) was launched and reports that around 40,000 people have been diagnosed with illnesses, including mesothelioma, linked to ground zero emissions today.

Just this past February, the Victim’s Compensation Fund announced it would run out of resources by 2020 due to the rising number of registered patients. This inspired responders and activists including Luiz Alvarez and John Stewart to testify before congress and fight for the coverage and justice these heroes need and deserve. Fortunately, in July of 2019, President Trump authorized an extension that guarantees financial aid for patients and their families all the way through 2090.

Infographic courtesy of the Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center.
Infographic courtesy of the Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center. Click to enlarge.

As the time passes, Director of WTCHP, Michael Crane, has expressed significant concern over carcinogens with an extensive latency period and the long-term impact it may have on human health. We now know that high levels of asbestos were airborne on-site and we are approaching the time when symptoms typically begin to emerge. Although asbestos exposure is not guaranteed to cause life-threatening health issues, it can lead to a number of chronic diseases, mesothelioma being the most fatal. This cancer originates from inhaling asbestos particles, where they can stick to the lining (mesothelium) of the heart, stomach or lungs, and go undetected for decades. 

With September 26th being Mesothelioma Awareness Day (MAD), we are taking the opportunity to get the word out and urge anyone involved in the relief efforts 18 years ago to be monitored for signs of exposure. For those interested in learning more about MAD, visit The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) to show your support.

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