The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, will never be forgotten. It was one of the worst atrocities in American history, a day in which countless lives were lost and incalculable pain was inflicted on the nation and the world. Many years later, the effects of that day are still being felt, and the damage that was done is still being experienced by a lot of people.
In recent times, overwhelming evidence has come to light that demonstrates the links between September 11 and various long-term health conditions and serious diseases, such as cancers, lung disease, and heart disease. Many people who were present around Lower Manhattan during or after that date may only now be feeling the effects as these health conditions begin to appear.
Causes and Effects
One of the big factors regarding the proven link between 9/11 and long-term health risks is the fact that, in the wake of the attacks, a large dust cloud descended over the Lower Manhattan area. This cloud was made up of countless particles of the destroyed buildings, plane wreckage, and other debris from the surrounding area.
There were countless harmful particles inside the cloud, from asbestos which has been linked to mesothelioma to benzene from the jet fuel which can cause lung cancer and other conditions. As people made their way around the area, they were exposed to all of these different elements and substances which were inhaled and could build up inside the body over time.
Initially, these substances may not cause any immediate issues or noticeable side effects. However, over time, as has been proven with studies of substances like asbestos, such materials can remain in the body and do damage as the years go by, eventually culminating in the development of serious, life-threatening conditions.
A Compensation Program
In response to the concerns regarding health issues associated with 9/11, various programs and initiatives have been launched, such as the World Trade Center Health Program, which provides medical care for WTC-related health problems, and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which pays out compensation to those who have been affected in connection with the event.
If you or a loved one were in Lower Manhattan around the time of 9/11, you may be eligible for care and compensation if any health issues arise. Attorneys can help you learn more about your rights and assist you in building up a case, but before doing so, it’s important to be aware of the actual health issues associated with 9/11.
List of 9/11 Health Issues
The WTC Health Program lists a range of health conditions that have been scientifically linked with the events of 9/11. The list includes the following key categories:
- Cancers – Many different types of cancer have been connected with this event, from blood and lymphoid cancers to breast cancers, digestive cancers, prostate cancers, mesothelioma, urinary tract cancers, and more. These cancers can occur all over the body and lead to the uncontrollable growth of cells and tumors, interfering with various bodily functions and processes.
- Acute Trauma – There is also a range of acute traumatic injuries associated with 9/11, many of which may have occurred directly on the site of Ground Zero, such as burns, sprains, ocular injuries, bone fractures, bone breaks, and so on.
- Respiratory Disorders – Many people who were at the site of the 9/11 attacks and found themselves exposed to the dust cloud and all the debris in the air have developed respiratory problems too. Examples include the likes of asthma, chronic coughing, laryngitis, rhinosinusitis, GERD, lung disease, airway dysfunction syndrome, and apnea.
- Mental Health – As well as various physical ailments and injuries, a lot of individuals also suffered mentally as a result of 9/11, with many who were present on the day or in the wake of the attacks finding themselves dealing with the likes of depression, anxiety, PTSD, acute stress, panic disorder, and other conditions that affect one’s mood, emotions, and behavior in day to day life.
It’s clear to see that the events of 9/11 have left their mark on the world in more ways than one. Many people remember that day with deep sadness, while others are still feeling its effects in a more physical way, suffering from the symptoms and side effects of their exposure to Ground Zero itself. While the damage of the day can never be undone, it’s important for those who are suffering to know that they are not alone and help is available.