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Common Toxins at Ground Zero

The toxic cloud was made up of many contaminants

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, lower Manhattan was bathed in a toxic stew of chemicals and particulates. Thousands of first responders, workers and others rushed to the scene and many spent hours, days and months breathing the air. The toxic cloud that hung over the site comprised a complex mix of pollutants, among them the products of combustion of:

  • 91,000 L jet fuel
  • Pulverized building materials
  • Cement dust
  • Asbestos
  • Dioxin
  • Gypsum and calcite

According to atmospheric scientist Thomas Cahill of the University of California-Davis, “The debris pile acted like a chemical factory. It cooked together the components of the buildings and their contents, including enormous numbers of computers, and gave off gases of toxic metals, acids and organics.” As time passed, those who were exposed to the contaminants fell ill and some died. Many more people are expected to develop one of the many WTC-related illnesses that have befallen those who spent time at the site. Due to the heavy presence of carcinogens at Ground Zero, many responders and survivors have fallen ill with cancer in subsequent years. More than 68 cancers have been added over time to the list of compensable illnesses under the Zadroga Act.

Persons who were exposed have a right to compensation and healthcare

The federal government established a Health Program to provide responders and survivors with health screening, testing, treatment and prescription drug services. Monetary support is also available through the Victims Compensation Fund. As of January 2, 2015, VCF had found 9,677 claimants eligible for compensation. Of those eligible claimants, 4,671 had submitted completed claim forms and the VCF had made determinations in 3,128 of those claims. The total value of those compensation decisions was more than $804 million.

Contact our law firm if you were exposed to Ground Zero toxins

Attorneys at the firm of Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson provide advice and counseling to 9/11 responders and survivors. If you were at the scene of the terrorist attacks, lived or worked in the vicinity, or assisted in rescue/recovery efforts, you may be eligible for healthcare and financial compensation. For a free consultation, call us at 888.351.9421 or contact our firm online.

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