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Did a 9/11 Ground Zero asbestos exposure make you ill?

Not all asbestos exposures occur over long-term employment at job sites where the construction material was typically used. Many of the first responders to the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack got acute short-term exposures to a mix of asbestos-particulate matter that was released when the towers collapsed. The ensuing rescue and recovery efforts and subsequent clean-up activities exposed even more brave men and women.

Affected first responders included:

-- Paramedics

-- Police officers

-- Firefighters

-- Volunteers

-- Construction workers

Others caught on the street when the towers fell had severe acute exposures of high concentrations of dust. Some later developed Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome as a result. Those living in close proximity to Ground Zero also were exposed from their residences being infiltrated with the deadly dust particulate.

The public was concerned, and rightly so, about the health risks they now faced. Authorities then studied air quality near Ground Zero and examined the dust that settled in nearby apartments. The Environmental Protections Agency found significant concentrations of asbestos fibers in the settled dust samples they collected.

Experts estimated in a worst-case scenario, that a person who lived for a year in an apartment that hadn't been cleaned would have a risk of 1 in 10,000 of later developing mesothelioma from the exposure.

While that may sound vaguely reassuring, to those who know the actual pain and debilitation suffered by those with mesothelioma from asbestos exposures, it is of no real comfort at all.

If you are living with mesothelioma, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the pain and suffering you are experiencing, as well as other potential damages.

Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, "Asbestos Toxicity Who Is at Risk of Exposure to Asbestos?," accessed Sep. 16, 2016

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