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On September 11, 2011, and in the days that followed, much of the stunned nation was glued to the 24 hour news channels trying to make sense of the horror that had just happened. Others immediately got to work. Selflessly and without regard for their own long term safety, emergency workers, construction crews and concerned citizens flocked to Ground Zero in an attempt to help with the recovery.
Some of the dangers of the collapsed towers were apparent. The fires and the instability of the remaining structures were easy to see. What could not be seen, however, was what was contained in the clouds of dust that hung over lower Manhattan. One of the components of that dust was likely asbestos.
When the towers were constructed in the 1960s, asbestos bans were not yet in place in the United States. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other sources believe that the amount of asbestos exposure was low in the days following September 11, it is commonly believed that there was some asbestos exposure.
If you were working on Ground Zero, or were in lower Manhattan on September 11, or in the immediate aftermath, it is important to know that even low levels of asbestos can be dangerous. There is no safe amount of asbestos inhalation. Thus, we encourage you to learn about mesothelioma symptoms and asbestosis symptoms and to contact a doctor if you are concerned about your health.
And, as the tenth anniversary of September 11 approaches, we thank you for your service and for your selfless acts that were vital to our nation’s recovery.