Whenever someone mentions September 11, troubled feelings, pain and tears arouse. That date represents one of the saddest moments in human history: hundreds of people die in the most violent way, hundreds of people lost their dear ones and even nowadays, hundreds of people who went there to bring their help are still suffering the consequences.
Asbestos was a major material used in the construction of the Twin Towers. When it is intact, does not represent a health threat. However, if it deteriorates, its fibers can be released into the air and inhaled. The exposure to this material has been linked to cancer; asbestosis (scaring of the lung that restricts breathing) and mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the chest cavity). These are common illnesses among construction workers who are constantly exposed to demolitions. With the collapse of the World Trade Center, residents and workers in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn were exposed to this toxic material and have started to feel the consequences of it.
Therefore, many of the approx. 30,000 to 40,000 people who volunteered to help and those who lived nearby Ground Zero have developed health problems commonly related to the exposure to asbestos. Neighbors and people who work around the area sued the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming that the agency authorized thousands of people return to their homes. The lawsuit accused the agency of making misleading statements about air quality after the attacks. It also claims that EPA left people ?unnecessarily exposed to potentially hazardous levels of asbestos and possibly other carcinogens and toxic substances.?
With the lawsuit, all these people were looking for unspecified damages and reimbursement for cleanup. They also required the court to order a fund to finance medical monitoring for conditions resulting from exposure to trade center asbestos. EPA defended itself claiming they provided thousands of respirators for volunteers and workers, they also conducted studies of indoor cleaning methods, cleaned and tested thousands of houses and buildings in lower Manhattan.