Many people have heard of mesothelioma, a type of cancer associated with exposure to asbestos. In fact, mesothelioma has been linked with numerous occupations, including working as an emergency first responder. First responders regularly encounter burning or falling debris. If the debris contains particles of asbestos, they can be inhaled and lead to the development of mesothelioma years later. According to the latest reports, this has been happening more frequently to some of the first responders who were on the scene when the New York World Trade Center’s twin towers collapsed on September 11, 2001.
When 9/11 occurred, officers, firefighters, and other first responders never thought about their own safety. Instead, they rushed into burning and destabilizing buildings in the hopes of helping people avoid injuries and fatalities. During the commotion, the materials that made up the towers began to fall from above, lingering in the air. Even workers who wore masks could not help but breathe in the toxins.
Nearly two decades later, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has released information stating that officers who were onsite at the World Trade Center during 9/11 have died in record numbers. In fact, their deaths have occurred 10 times as fast as would usually be expected. Currently, the number of deaths of NYPD’s finest who were at the towers on 9/11 hovers just below 250.
In addition to NYPD officers, the firefighters who helped on that day have also shown a significant increase in illnesses and deaths. Specifically, firefighters who worked on 9/11 are 19 percent more apt to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, ostensibly because the dust coming from the buildings contained serious amounts of asbestos fibers.
Despite research and evidence linking first responder deaths and illnesses with mesothelioma, some victims and their families feel they are not receiving the compensation they deserve. Though the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund has paid some claims to workers or surviving relatives, many worry the fund will run out of money before everyone diagnosed with mesothelioma has been adequately compensated. However, President Donald J. Trump has signed measures into law to keep the fund solvent until 2092.
Still, plenty of social scientists, politicians, and doctors worry that 9/11 mesothelioma deaths may only be the tip of the iceberg. They suggest that other cancers and conditions, including prostate cancer, could also affect survivors, which might make it tough for a claim to be accepted and paid.
If you were at the site of the World Trade Center on or after September 11, and you ultimately received a diagnosis of mesothelioma or another type of cancer, a Delaware mesothelioma lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can help. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, Sussex County, and New Castle County.