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WTC Victims

Respiratory Illness Resulting from 9/11

January 23, 2014 | Michael Barasch

When the World Trade Center collapsed, countless pieces of building materials, office equipment and furniture were destroyed, spreading dust and debris throughout the area. The pulverized building matter was analyzed and determined to be highly toxic. In the months and years following 9/11, rescue and recovery workers have suffered various illnesses.

Many people are aware of cancer stemming from contact with ground zero. However, a number of respiratory illnesses have also appeared, including:

  • Sarcoidosis — Sarcoidosis is an inflammation of an organ. It can happen to any organs in the human body. Some 9/11 first responders and rescue workers continue to experience sarcoidosis of the lungs.
  • Asthma — In a study conducted by the World Trade Center Health Registry, it was suggested that 3 percent of adults who worked and resided in the ground zero area on the morning of 9/11 have developed asthma twice as fast as the general population for the same period.
  • Chronic bronchitis — Chronic bronchitis occurs when there is an inflammation of the airways leading from the trachea to the lungs. The condition is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD that makes breathing difficult. Chronic bronchitis can result in coughing, tightness of the chest and dizziness, among other symptoms. Many survivors and workers continue to contract chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

If you or your loved one is experiencing a respiratory illness or any other illness related to exposure from the World Trade Center collapse, an attorney may be able to help. Depending on the circumstance of your case, your family may be eligible to receive compensation under The Zadroga Act.

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