The New York City Fire Department has added the names of 27 department members who died of illnesses related to their work in their rescue and recovery efforts on September 11, 2001 to the FDNY World Trade Center Memorial Wall in a closed ceremony.
Those 27 former New York City firefighters died of 9/11-related illnesses in the past year, making the new total of firefighters killed after the attacks to 227. This is in addition to the 343 killed on the day of the attacks.
The dust from the collapsed towers was “wildly toxic”, according to air pollution expert and University of California Davis Professor Emeritus Thomas Cahill. Much of the thousands of tons of debris resulting from the collapse of the Twin Towers was pulverized concrete, which is known to cause silicosis upon inhalation.
The remainder consisted of more than 2,500 contaminants, more specifically: 50% non-fibrous material and construction debris; 40% glass and other fibers; 9.2% cellulose; and 0.8% of the extremely toxic carcinogen asbestos, as well as detectable amounts of[lead and mercury.
There were also unprecedented levels of dioxins and PAHs from the fires which burned for three months. Many of the dispersed substances (asbestos, crystalline silica, lead, cadmium, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are carcinogenic; other substances can trigger kidney, heart, liver, and nervous system deterioration.
A study published two months after 9/11 found that Americans across the country experienced substantial symptoms of stress after the attacks.
Two subsequent studies found that exposure to the attacks was a predictor of the development of PTSD.
This year, the 19th anniversary of the attacks, instead of a live reading of the names of those killed, recorded readings of the names made by 9/11 family members were used.