The 9/11 death toll was a tragedy for people across the US and the world, yet exposure from the dust seems primed to take even more lives…
In recent years, there have been a growing number of cases of people who were exposed to asbestos and other pollutants in the dust caused by the 9/11 attacks.
Asbestos claims are on track to outnumber the 9/11 death toll over the next 20 years, due to the severe health conditions exposure to it can cause. Asbestosis and lung cancer from exposure to asbestos during the 9/11 attacks is something we’re going to have to deal with.
Asbestos claims are on track to outnumber the 9/11 death toll over the next 20 years, due to the severe health conditions exposure to it can cause.
In this post, we’re going to discuss the number of asbestos cases caused by the 9/11 attacks and the details on some of the specific asbestos claims made thus far. But before we do that, we’re going to give you a quick rundown of asbestos and its related conditions. Take a look…
What is Asbestos and What Conditions Does It Cause?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of millions of microscopic fibres that, when bound together, make a nearly indestructible material.
This durability teamed with the fact asbestos is fire, water and chemical resistance made it a key material in construction. After centuries of using asbestos, the downsides finally became clear.
Inhaling asbestos fibres can lead to a number of conditions that can severely harm or kill anyone who breathes them in for a long period of time. The main conditions caused by asbestos exposure include:
- Asbestosis: a lung disease where individual fibres of asbestos scar the lungs and cause severe breathing issues. There is no cure for this condition; it worsens over time and can be fatal.
- Mesothelioma: a rare cancer that can form in the heart, abdomen or lining of the lungs. The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure.
- Lung Cancer: any other lung cancer that isn’t mesothelioma can be caused by asbestos fibres getting trapped in the lungs, causing tumours to grow. It’s less obvious that these are caused by asbestos than mesothelioma.
Most of these conditions can take between 20 and 30 years to display symptoms, so it’s difficult to know how many people have them until they get older. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos and want to make an asbestos claim, find a solicitor and go to court.
How Many People are Suffering from Asbestos-Related Conditions Due to the 9/11 Attacks?
Now that we have an understanding of what asbestos is and the conditions it causes, we can look at how many of these conditions were caused by exposure to dust during the 9/11 attacks.
Like many buildings constructed in the 60s and 70s, the World Trade Centre used asbestos to make it stronger and heat resistant. Both towers had a variety of asbestos-containing products in them.
When the towers were hit, the World Trade Centre Health Program has said that anyone within a 1.5-mile radius of the World Trade Centre is at risk of developing asbestos-related conditions.
These claims were backed up by a 2011 study that found firefighters who were exposed to World Trade Centre dust were 19 percent more likely to develop cancer than the general population. The people most at risk are:
- First responders (incl. firefighters)
- Search and rescue workers
- Clean-up workers
- Survivors and residents
Five years later, a 2016 survey conducted by the World Trade Centre Health Registry found that:
- 352 people have been diagnosed with asbestosis
- 444 people were diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, which could be the results of exposure to asbestos fibres
- Almost 16 percent have been diagnosed with cancer, up a whole 8 percent compared to 2007
- Roughly 35 percent reported seeking medical care for shortness of breath
- Nearly 70 percent of people involved in the rescue of survivors have suffered from lung issues
With asbestos-related conditions taking between 20-30 years to show, we definitely haven’t seen the full extent of the damage 9/11 asbestos exposure has caused.
Obviously, not all of these cases can be directly linked to asbestos exposure. That said, on the whole, nearly 10,000 people involved in the 9/11 cleanup have been diagnosed with cancer. What’s more, more than 43,000 people have been diagnosed with a 9/11-related health condition.
It definitely seems to be the case that the 9/11 death toll is increasing decades after the attack took place.
Have People Made Asbestos Claims Due to the 9/11 Attacks?
We now have an idea of the full scale of the 9/11 death toll and other health issues caused by the attacks. But how many asbestos claims and other legal cases have been brought as a result of exposure to dust from the World Trade Centre?
Tens of thousands of people who were exposed to 9/11 dust have filed lawsuits to seek compensation for the serious respiratory conditions they believe it caused.
In 2010 alone, over 10,000 recovery and rescue workers claimed to have been injured by the dust and opted into a $713 million settlement from WTC Captive Insurance. Adding previous settlements from other defendants to this number brings the total to around $810 million.
Up until 2012, the Zagroda Act made it impossible to put it an asbestos claim, or other health related suit, for exposure to 9/11 dust. This has since been overturned and people with cancer are now able to make a claim.
Even so, because asbestos-related cancers and conditions are slow to develop, asbestos claims linking these conditions to 9/11 dust might take a whole to arise. One mesothelioma specialist at the Beaumont Cancer Institute in Michigan, has predicted asbestos-related conditions will continue to rise until 2041.
When Do You Have a Claim?
If you have mesothelioma, you have a good case for an asbestos claim because it’s the only known cause of this condition.
Other lung conditions and cancers can be harder to prove but, with more and more cancer claims being brought forward as a result of 9/11 dust, you could make a general claim against dust exposure. Even if you’re not able to prove your case now, with asbestos claims from 9/11 dust exposure expected to increase over the next 20 years, people will have to start listening.
With there being so many asbestos claims coming about in the last few years, there are a lot of solicitors who specialise in this area that can help you win compensation for your claim. Just remember, when you decide to make a claim, you only have three years after you’re diagnosed with a condition to bring it.
As with the cases listed above, most of them are settled out of court so you don’t have to worry about being dragged in front of a judge to state your case. A settlement will help you pay for any medical costs or pain you’ve suffered as a result of asbestos exposure.
If you believe you have an asbestos related condition or know someone that has one, speak to a solicitor and find out whether you can claim compensation.
Where Do We Go From Here?
In this post, we managed to cover what asbestos is, the conditions it causes, the number of people affected by 9/11 dust exposure, and how asbestos claims are going to increase over the next 20 years.
If you believe you have an asbestos related condition or know someone that has one, speak to a solicitor and find out whether you can claim compensation. You should also keep your eyes peeled for related settlement cases in the news to see if others are coming forward.
Thank you for reading this post, and good luck with your asbestos claim.
Have you or a loved one suffered from 9/11-related asbestos conditions?
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