Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, many firefighters, police offers, public workers and everyday citizens rushed to Ground Zero to help search for and rescue survivors. As time has passed, many first responders have developed severe illnesses from 9/11-related work.
The following are several types of illness first responders are at a significant risk of experiencing:
- Respiratory illness: A World Trade Center Health Registry study found that one in 10 workers polled developed new-onset asthma within six years of their 9/11 work. Interaction with dense dust clouds posed the highest risk for rescue workers, residents of Lower Manhattan and those with offices in the area.
- Post-traumatic stress: Research has shown that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are the most common issues related to the event. PTSD is estimated to affect as many as 20 percent of all adults present at the site of the World Trade Center attack. This rate is four times the national average.
- Heart disease: Evidence has shown that male first responders may be at an increased risk of heart-related hospitalization stemming from their work at Ground Zero. Additionally, individuals who have suffered multiple injuries from the attacks and have 9/11-related PTSD symptoms are three times more likely to develop heart disease.
- Cancer: Studies suggest that long-term monitoring for cancer is needed for those with exposure related to Ground Zero. Increased risk of cancer among rescue and recovery workers has been demonstrated in several studies. However, cancers tied to exposure may take years — sometimes decades — to develop.
- Effects on childhood health: Research indicates that children and adolescents who were exposed to dust on 9/11 are at an increased risk for developing asthma and respiratory illnesses.
If you or your family member was exposed to toxins or environmental hazards stemming from the September 11 attacks, consult a New York personal injury lawyer at Barasch & McGarry