Asbestos
Unfortunately, more than 90,000 people were exposed to the toxins released into the air on 9/11, which continued to pose a danger for months afterward. If you or your loved one was exposed to asbestos, you may be eligible for compensation.

Asbestos, 9/11 and the World Trade Center

If you believe you were exposed to asbestos from Ground Zero, and developed a cancer you may be eligible for $250,000 or more in compensation from the World Trade Center Victim Fund. The application process is complex, and you have the greatest chance of success when you have a good law firm representing you.

When deciding on which law firm to choose, you should look at how much experience the firm has in recovering money for people with 9/11-related illnesses. The partners of our firm, Gregory Cannata & Associates, were appointed by the court to serve as the lead counsel in World Trade Center litigation suing hundreds of defendants responsible for illnesses sustained in the aftermath of 9/11. We also proudly have served first responders, clean-up workers, construction workers, residents, office workers and others since 2003 before the Fund. In all, we have helped more than 2,000 people receive hundreds of millions of dollars as compensation for their 9/11-related cancers and other illnesses. We also fought in Washington to get the Fund renewed and change its policies so that hundreds of thousands more people were eligible for compensation. We were instrumental in a major  policy change convincing the Fund they were misinterpreting the Congressional Act. This opened up the Fund to many more people that would have been excluded.

We are here to help. Call us today at 1-888-982-8428 for a free consultation.

Health Risks From Asbestos Exposure 

Although asbestos is a natural substance, it can cause severe and lethal illnesses when breathed in or ingested. Before the dangers of asbestos were widely recognized, it was commonly used in insulation and other building materials, as it was during the initial years of the World Trade Center’s construction.

While the buildings were intact, the use of asbestos may not have presented a danger as long as it didn't get loose and into the air. However, the force generated by the 9/11 terrorist attack released the asbestos from the materials where it was originally bound and sent hundreds of tons of tiny asbestos and other toxic fibers into the air. These fibers were small enough that they could be inhaled, where they would get caught by the lungs, remain there, and build up as more were inhaled.

Eventually, the trapped fibers could lead to inflammation, scarring, breathing disorders, and many lung diseases and other illnesses, including a wide range of cancers. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that affects the membranes lining the abdomen and chest.

In Addition to Causing Cancer, Asbestos Exposure May also Cause:

  • Asbestosis, a condition that can permanently damage the lungs. Symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath.
  • Pleural plaques, which affect the membranes around the lungs and may create an increased risk of contracting lung cancer.
  • Plural effusions, where fluid collects between the lungs and the chest cavity wall.

The people at the highest risk for 9/11 asbestos exposure include all the first responders who went into the towers before they collapsed, everyone who was there to provide medical assistance, all the people who worked on rescue operations in the rubble on the ground zero site, including volunteers, and everyone who lived, worked, or was a student in the area. No one was safe. The air remained toxic for months. Whenever rubble was disturbed, toxic dust rose into the air. The fires spread the toxic substances over a wide area.

First Responders Asbestos WTC Exposure

The first responders who rushed into danger on September 11, 2001, wanted only to help. These were the brave firefighters of the FDNY, police officers of the NYPD, emergency workers, and others who worked tirelessly, amid toxic dust and fumes, to rescue people trapped in the towers and later to search the rubble for survivors.

Asbestos was one of the most dangerous substances in those awful clouds of toxic dust. When the first responders inhaled asbestos into their lungs, the damage to their bodies began. But the diseases that asbestos causes have a long latency period. It can take as long as 20 to 50 years after asbestos exposure for cancer symptoms to start appearing. Many 9/11 first responders are just now becoming aware that they have mesothelioma or other cancers caused by breathing in asbestos at Ground Zero. Doctors expect a third wave of people who will be diagnosed with 9/11-related cancers over the next 25 years.

Firefighters and Asbestos Exposure

On 9/11, 343 firefighters were killed, including the department chief and members from 75 different firehouses. The brave firefighters of the FDNY continue to suffer from 9/11 asbestos-related diseases and other illnesses. Firefighters exposed to the 9/11 WTC site are at least 19% more likely to develop cancer than firefighters who were not at the site. 

Rescue Workers Asbestos Exposure

In addition to the firefighters of the FDNY, other rescue workers who helped treat and evacuate workers and residents from the area included police officers, doctors, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics,  Coast Guard personnel, and private boat operators. All were potentially exposed to asbestos in the toxic clouds following 9/11.

Clean up Asbestos WTC Exposure

A thick layer of toxic dust coated the inside of many residential and office buildings in the area, making those involved in cleanup efforts vulnerable to asbestos exposure.

9/11 Asbestos Exposure Survivors

Unfortunately, people exposed to 9/11-related asbestos and did not previously get sick may still develop mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other diseases. That is because it often takes decades for these diseases to develop after exposure to the carcinogens in asbestos. Many 9/11 asbestos exposure survivors are only now beginning to develop symptoms of serious diseases.

Residents, Office Workers and Students Exposed to WTC Asbestos

The toxic 9/11 cloud entered apartments and other residences through open windows or through windows that had been broken by the force of the explosions, leaving thick, toxic dust coating interior surfaces. 

Volunteers and Asbestos-Related Illnesses

Many volunteers came out to help with the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero. These include volunteer firefighters, ambulance corps, medical professionals, people from the American Red Cross, construction workers, ironworkers, welders, and ordinary people from the general population who formed lines to pass buckets full of Ground Zero debris to investigators. Sadly, they were all exposed to the toxic cloud.

Exposure From 9/11 Dust

When the Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11, each heavy concrete floor crashed down onto the one below. The impact released clouds of dust containing a toxic mix of crushed concrete, gypsum wallboard, and glass and insulation fibers. This mixture was a deadly brew containing thousands of dangerous substances, including asbestos, lead, mercury, other metals, benzene, calcium carbonate, dioxin, and silica.

The dust entered nearby buildings through open or broken windows. It coated the streets of lower Manhattan. The Victims Compensation Fund considers the contaminated area to have been the lower portion of Manhattan south of Canal Street and East Broadway, spanning the entire width of lower Manhattan from the Hudson to the East River. However,  the actual reach of the cloud may have been even larger. Dust was found as far north as the Empire State Building on 34th Street, three miles away from Ground Zero.

After 9/11, the rubble at the Ground Zero site continued to burn, spewing more asbestos and other toxins into the air. Asbestos remained in the air for months.

Asbestos can have serious and lethal effects on people who have been exposed. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of the dangerous cancer mesothelioma. Exposure can also cause other types of cancers, including cancers of the lung, larynx, and ovaries, as well as other types of serious diseases such as asbestosis.

The 9/11 dust cloud contained particles from the asbestos-containing insulation and other building materials in the Twin Towers. When the towers collapsed, the asbestos was released into the air, where first responders, rescue workers, clean-up crews, volunteers, and lower Manhattan residents and workers, often unprotected by any PPE, breathed them into their lungs.  

The causal link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma has been known for a long time, having been established in 1964. Mesothelioma symptoms usually start to appear 20 to 50 years after exposure, with the average age of diagnosis being 62.

The link between asbestos exposure and lung cancer is also clear and has been known since 1942 when it was confirmed by the National Cancer Institute. In the United States, approximately 4% of lung cancer is caused by asbestos exposure. There is a long latency period. Someone exposed to asbestos may not develop lung cancer until 15 to 35 years later.

Scientists know about the links between asbestos and ovarian cancer from studying the harmful health effects of talcum powder, which contains asbestos. A 1999 study found that women who used talcum powder had a 60% higher risk of ovarian cancer.

The link between asbestos exposure and cancer of the larynx (the voice box) was established more recently in 2009. This form of cancer is another one that is often not diagnosed until later in life, with people on average getting their diagnosis when they are 65.

If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos in the 9/11 dust cloud, you and your doctor should monitor your health. The earlier that you can detect mesothelioma, other types of cancer, or other asbestos-related illnesses, the sooner you can begin treatment. You should tell your doctor that you may have been exposed to asbestos, get frequent check-ups, and notify your doctor immediately if you notice any symptoms, including coughing, chest pain, or shortness of breath.

Most Common Related Conditions and Cancers Due to Asbestos and other Toxins

Unfortunately, more than 90,000 people were exposed to the toxins released into the air on 9/11, which continued to pose a danger for months afterward. Exposure to the 9/11 toxic dust cloud caused a wide range of illnesses. In addition to 80 different cancers, exposure caused dangerous diseases such as: 

  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Lung disease and chronic respiratory disorders
  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural thickening and effusion
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Asthma and COPD and Emphysema
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Atelectasis
  • Hyaline pleural plaques
  • Peritoneal and Pericardial Effusion

Mesothelioma, which is caused only by exposure to asbestos, has been a lethal outcome of 9/11 dust cloud exposure. The cloud also caused many other types of cancers. These include lung, lymphatic, prostate, thyroid, hematopoietic, stomach, colon, throat (pharyngeal), voice box (laryngeal), and HPV-related cancers, leukemia, myeloma, and other malignant neoplasms.

Why Was Asbestos in the World Trade Center?

Construction of the World Trade Center started in 1968 before the dangers of asbestos were fully recognized. Work started on the North Tower first. South Tower construction did not start until a year later.

When construction of the North Tower began, asbestos was used for insulation and to add strength and fireproofing to the building. Workers sprayed asbestos on the building’s steel beams. Asbestos may also have been present in the tower’s concrete, flooring materials, and foam board.

In 1970, while the Twin Towers were still under construction, the city’s Department of Air Resources established new regulations limiting the use of spray insulation. The WTC contractors did not comply, and the city, in response, forbid the use of all asbestos in the construction of the towers. As a result, alternatives to asbestos were used in the South Tower and the upper floors of the North Tower. But the damage had already been done. Altogether, 300 to 400 tons of asbestos was used in building the North Tower. 

What Was the EPA’s Response to 9/11 and WTC Asbestos?

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was involved in the post-9/11 efforts to measure and clean asbestos and other toxic substances from the area surrounding Ground Zero.

The agency provided professional home testing and cleanup for lower Manhattan residents south of Canal Street who requested the help. The EPA also conducted several studies. One measured how well different methods worked on cleaning the toxic dust. Another studied how much contamination had reached residences in upper Manhattan north of 78th Street. The agency also established benchmarks to use for the cleanup work.

The EPA was also involved in the work on buildings surrounding Ground Zero that needed to be demolished or repaired. The agency’s role was to see that the work was done in such a way that it would not harm the health of the people who lived or worked in the area. Unfortunately, the EPA did not provide all the correct information to the general public and gave a false sense of security for safety. 

Resources for 9/11 Victims to Get Help and Treatment in NYC

The World Trade Center Health Program, established by the James Zadroga Act, provides help for people who have any illness caused by 9/11-related asbestos exposure at or near the Ground Zero site. As part of this program, the internationally-acclaimed Mount Sinai hospital offers free services in NYC to 9/11 first responders and volunteers. The Mount Sinai program offers medical treatment, mental health care, and medical monitoring. The program also offers services to anyone who has sustained an illness related to the exposure. 

The highly experienced and well-regarded attorneys at Gregory Cannata & Associates help 9/11 victims who suffer from asbestos-related mesothelioma and other types of cancer to file claims with the World Trade Center Victim Compensation Fund. Contact us at 1-888-982-8428 to get the support you need to successfully navigate the application process. We will help you get all the compensation for your asbestos-related illness that the law provides.

WTC Health Program - Help for Victims of 9/11

The World Trade Center Health Program provides important benefits to people who have 9/11-related asbestos illnesses. These include:

  • Medical monitoring and expert care in the New York City metropolitan area and throughout the country.
  • Medical coverage, if you are not otherwise covered, until the year 2090.
  • Issuing a certificate letter that you need to apply for compensation from the WTC Victim Compensation Fund.

Our attorneys will help you enroll in the World Trade Center Health Program. We will guide you through the process and supply the WTC Health Program with the records and documents they need to approve your application. You don’t need to go through this by yourself. The Gregory Cannata & Associates law firm will be with you every step of the way.

Help for Victims Through the World Trade Center Victim Compensation Fund

The World Trade Center Victim Fund was created through an act of Congress to compensate victims of the events of 9/11 and their families.

To be eligible for compensation for asbestos-related or other illnesses under the WTC Fund, you will generally need to show that:

  • You were in Manhattan south of Canal Street for a certain number of hours sometime between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002, but you did not have to have been there on September 11th. There is a complex formula for determining the required number of hours, which varies depending on when you were there and what your role was. We can help you with that. 
  • There are a few exceptions where you may be eligible for the WTC Victim Fund even if you were not in lower Manhattan.  These exceptions include being at the city morgue, and in areas where the toxic debris was brought, such as barges along the river and Staten Island landfill sites, or areas where fire trucks were cleaned.
  • You were exposed to asbestos in the air outside or in the air inside buildings in the area. 
  • You have an asbestos-related illness that the WTC Victim Fund lists as potentially certified, and the WTC Health Program lists as actually certified.
  • Eligibility includes, but  is not restricted to people working on the Ground Zero site. You can be anyone who was present in the area, including a firefighter, police officer, paramedic, other emergency medical services first responder, construction worker, clean-up worker, toxic disposal worker, volunteer, resident, office worker, student, or cab driver.

Types of Compensation WTC Victims Can Receive From an Asbestos Illness

There are two basic types of compensation you can receive from the World Trade Center Victim Fund. These are called “non-economic” and “economic.”

Non-economic compensation for 9/11 asbestos-related illnesses are awards that the Fund gives you where the amount depends on your illness. For example, awards for mesothelioma and other types of asbestos-related cancers will get up to $250,000.

In addition to the non-economic compensation, economic compensation helps compensate you for the losses you suffered because you were unable to work as much as you did before you got sick, you couldn’t work at the same income level as before, or you were unable to work at all. The amount of economic compensation you will be eligible for depends on much your income dropped and for how long. You may also be entitled to compensation for the loss of any fringe benefits or pension that was due to your 9/11-related illness.

The process gets complicated because there are offsets if you are already getting benefits for your asbestos-related illness. Also, you may need to get an official determination of disability.  Many people find it challenging to navigate this process on their own, especially when they are undergoing treatment for cancer at the same time. The attorneys at Gregory Cannata & Associates are highly experienced and regarded in gathering and reviewing the appropriate information to help ensure the success of an award.

Call a New York Asbestos Lawyer Today 888-982-8428

If you believe you were exposed to asbestos and other toxins from the 9/11 toxic cloud, we invite you to meet with us for a free consultation. You do not have to be a first responder or have been present on 9/11 to qualify for compensation. You did not have to be present on 9/11 to be eligible.

At our consultation, we will determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for the WTC Health Program and the WTC Victim Fund. We can then take all the steps needed to make your applications successful, including tracking down the documents that are necessary to back-up your claim. You can leave all the complicated, tedious, and frustrating details to us and be assured that you don’t have to deal with this on your own.

The attorneys at Gregory Cannata & Associates are nationally recognized as fierce advocates for people suffering from 9/11 asbestos-related illnesses. Call us at 1-888-982-8428 to get started on receiving the care and compensation you deserve.



$10 Billion Now Available to 9/11 Victims, Limited Time to Apply
Congress recently extended the deadline for applicants, but strict filing requirements still apply. Contact our VCF lawyers today to learn if you qualify.
Gregory J.
Cannata
Partner
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VCF lawyers Gregory Cannata and Robert Grochow
Robert A.
Grochow
Partner
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