Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Asbestos, Mesothelioma, and Illness from the World Trade Center Collapse

Katherine is a reader who suffers from Mesothelioma. She asked if it were possible to post a link to a helpful resource for those who suffer from the same problem she does, due to their exposure to Asbestos on September 11th. Of course, the answer was yes. Katherine would like the readers of this blog to know that she herself has been fighting this asbestos-related cancer for 9 years, and there is help available. If you are someone who also suffers from similar complications, we would like you to know you are not alone. She has received great help from the doctors at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the patient advocates at the Mesothelioma Lawyer Center, and hopes you or someone you know will reach out and do the same. 

Katherine says, "Not only did they help me obtain financial compensation which helped with my treatments and quality of life, they genuinely care about my well-being. I am proud to call them my friends and they continue to stand by my side as I fight mesothelioma." 

If you need help or more information, please, visit the following links:

Article submitted by: Katherine Keys

When the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001, the destruction was enormous. Survivors and rescue workers were on the scene and exposed to the debris that came down with the buildings. The air on that day was full of particulate matter made up of glass fibers, heavy metals, cement dust, and silica.
The air also contained fibers of asbestos, which is a known risk factor for mesothelioma, a devastating and usually fatal type of cancer. Most people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma spent decades exposed to it in a work environment and have filed mesothelioma claims against employers that never warned them of the risks. But a single massive exposure to the mineral can also cause serious respiratory health problems, and many of those survivors and first responders in Manhattan have suffered.
The Toxic Dust from the Tower Collapses Included Asbestos
Asbestos has been known for decades to cause respiratory health problems. It is a natural mineral, fibrous and with properties like being resistant to heat and fire, that have made it an important component in construction, mining, ships, and other industries for hundreds of years. Not all people exposed to asbestos particles will develop mesothelioma, but that exposure is the biggest risk factor for this type of aggressive cancer.
When the World Trade Center collapsed a huge cloud of toxic dust was released into the air. The bulk of that cloud was concrete dust, which contains silica and causes silicosis, a respiratory illness, in those who inhale it. The cloud also contained thousands of other contaminants, including asbestos. Later testing on the debris found that just less than one percent of the dust was made up of asbestos fibers. This may not seem like much, but it is significant and amounts to hundreds of tons of asbestos.
Exposure and Illness
Rescue workers on the day of the attack, as well as those people who survived and remained in the area as the towers collapsed, were put at greatest risk for resulting illnesses from exposure to the toxic dust. Respiratory conditions were seen immediately and for years after. It has been reported that 70 percent of rescue workers on the scene suffered from respiratory symptoms, including what came to be called the World Trade Center cough.
Cancer has also been a concern and studies have found thousands of cases of cancer diagnosed in survivors and rescue workers. Whether the asbestos exposure that occurred on that day will result in cases of mesothelioma still remains to be seen. It is a type of cancer with a long latency period, eleven years or more. Some of the people exposed to the debris and the toxic cloud of dust may just beginning to experience symptoms and may not have yet been diagnosed. Unfortunately because mesothelioma takes so long to show symptoms, it is most often caught late when there is little treatment can do.
The tragic events of that day are overwhelming, but for those who survived the terrorist attack the effects may last for decades after. The asbestos released from the towers has caused harm and damage to first responders and survivors and will likely continue to do so.

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