17 Years After 9/11 – The Health Toll

Source: Don Halasy - Library of Congress

Deaths and illnesses related to 9/11 have continued to climb, in part, because of the longer latency period associated with many of the diseases engulfing victims, according to asbestos.com.

According to the World Trade Center Health Registry, the toxic cloud created by the collapse of the twin towers exposed an estimated 410,000 people to 400 tons of pulverized concrete, glass and asbestos, which causes mesothelioma, as well as poisonous gases and other dangerous substances.

Three hundred forty-three firefighters and paramedics were among the 2,753 people who died in the fires and in the collapse of the two buildings on Sept. 11, 2001. More than 150 have died since, according to Dr. David Prezant, chief medical officer of the New York Fire Department.

The World Trade Center Health Program, which launched in 2011 to treat those living with any post-9/11 health problems, has enrolled close to 90,000 people,

Responders, such as emergency responders, recovery and cleanup workers, and volunteers who helped, and survivors, including those who lived, worked or attended schools in the area, are among the participants.

The program covers mental health conditions, disorders related to digestion and breathing, trauma-related injuries and more than 60 cancers — including mesothelioma — linked to the toxic mess that lingered in the area.

Almost 10,000 of those registered with the World Trade Center Health Program are diagnosed with at least one of the 9/11-related cancers today. The top 10 cancers covered by the program are non-melanoma of the skin, prostate, melanoma of the skin, thyroid, breast, lymphoma, lung, kidney, leukemia and colon cancers.