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Ground Zero Asbestos Exposure

The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were constructed during the late 1960s and into the early 1970s. In this era, asbestos use was still common in construction. The original plans for the Towers called for more than 5,000 tons of asbestos to be used on the lower 40 floors of the Towers alone.

Fortunately, the health risks of asbestos were becoming better known which called for a reduction in the amount of asbestos present in the buildings. In addition, a lot of the asbestos that was used in the construction of the buildings had been removed in the almost 30 years they were standing.

When the towers collapsed, more than 2,000 tons of microscopic asbestos fibers were released into the air. Emergency workers were advised to wear protective equipment to prevent exposure; however, in many cases, the appropriate masks were not available and were not required.

In addition to the emergency workers exposed, thousands of others were exposed as well. Individuals who survived the collapse, nearby residents, and even the workers that were hired to clean up the rubble were all exposed. In addition to the asbestos risks, the fires at Ground Zero burned for a number of months post-collapse which allowed heavy metals and carcinogens like barium and mercury were released with the asbestos.

In early 2008, the New York State Department of Health released a study that showed that in the 6-plus years since the attacks, roughly 200 of those initially exposed to the toxins and pollutants at Ground Zero had passed away. The study also reported that a minimum of 55 of the workers were victims of lung cancer. In addition, 62% of all people exposed to the dust and debris following the attacks reported breathing troubles and other respiratory ailments.

Contact an Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

If you were an emergency worker or employee at Ground Zero assisting in the clean up efforts, you may have been exposed to deadly asbestos. To learn about the risks of exposure to this material and legal options available, contact the mesothelioma attorneys of Williams Hart at 1-800-781-3955 today.

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