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Toxins at Ground Zero

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 Victim 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 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.

Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Our Attorneys
  • "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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