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How Extensive Was the WTC Dust Cloud — And Who Is Eligible for 9/11 Compensation?

Just how far did the toxic dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11 travel? Satellite images show the dust cloud trailing from Lower Manhattan across Brooklyn and into the Long Island Sound, which provides some idea of the pervasiveness of the asbestos fibers, crushed cement, lead, copper, fiberglass and other dangerous substances in that dust.

But those satellite photos do not show how the dust entered homes and offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn. These fine particulates were present weeks and months later — certainly on “the pile,” where recovery crews toiled for months and from which cleanup crews hauled debris to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. But following the attacks, it was also in carpets, furniture and clothing, sometimes for weeks, until the items were cleaned.

What’s most worrisome is where the dust traveled in the bodies of those exposed. No fewer than three documentaries have been produced on the long-term health problems resulting from breathing and swallowing the airborne particles that came from the 400 million tons of buildings that crashed to the ground that fateful morning. Those films are:

  • “Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11” (CBS News Productions, Bruce Kennedy, producer, 2006)
  • “Toxic Legacy” (Canadian Broadcasting Company/Susan Teskey, producer, 2006)
  • “The Toxic Clouds of 9/11: A Looming Disaster” (Chemical Sensitivity Foundation, Alison Johnson, producer, 2006)

The area legally defined as the “NYC Exposure Zone” consists of Manhattan south of Canal Street, from the Hudson River to the intersection of Canal Street and East Broadway, north on East Broadway to Clinton Street, east on Clinton to the East River, and “any area related to, or along, routes of debris removal,” including barges to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. Additional areas can be argued in litigation.

If you or a loved one was injured by 9/11 dust, you can seek compensation for injuries through the WTC victims and volunteer compensation funds. But you must file your claim within two years of the discovery of your injury. Speak with a WTC injury lawyer to learn what might be recovered.

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Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Deadline Extended To Register Claims Must file within 2 years from the date your cancer was linked to WTC toxic dust
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  • "Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson handled everything professionally and with patience. They always had time to answer all my questions and did what they promised. Thanks esp to Brian Calamaris Lee London, and Mariya Atanasova. Thank you." - William Collins, FDNY

  • "If I could give them six stars I would...don't even bother talking to anyone else concerning 9/11. The whole team worked night and day to deliver an outstanding settlement. They are honest, hard working and extremely professional. Just make the one phone call and let them do the rest." - Les Margulis, resident in the exposure zone

  • "I had a very good experience with Michael and Mariya. They made the process stress free. I would recommend this firm to anyone seeking assistance with 9/11 related illnesses." - JE Kirwan, worked in the exposure zone

  • "The people at this firm were just great. They were concern with making sure I was taken care of in every way possible. When I was given an award Mr. Barasch didn't think it was a fair amount and appealed the decision which got me a larger award. I am very satisfied with everything they did for me in the past and are willing to do for me and my family in the future." - Bob Wiecezak, FDNY-Retired

  • "Excellent law firm. Lee London and his staff were very responsive and always followed up with phone calls or emails. This firm is a strong example of what caring and personable lawyers are all about." - Letitia Egan, wife of client, volunteer in the exposure zone

  • Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation


    There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers that doctors at the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) have linked to the WTC toxic dust. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a cancer survivor is made aware their cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

    For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

    Register For Compensation

Please help spread the word about the strict two-year deadline to register a claim

Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Please call us for a free consultation.

Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
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