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WTC VictimsZadroga Act

Understanding the Health Consequences of Exposure to Toxic Dust

September 6, 2012 | Michael Barasch

When terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center on 9/11, thousands of hard-working emergency responders and regular people gathered together to help individuals escape and to clean up the destruction. Unfortunately, these dedicated first responders weren’t aware that the dust they were breathing was toxic and could cause serious health problems. Through the World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation and the Zadroga Act, thousands of construction workers, rescue personnel and emergency responders have received more than $800 million for personal injuries caused by toxic dust at the WTC site.

What happens when you breathe toxic dust

Exposure to this dust has caused many of the nation’s most dedicated public servants to develop chronic respiratory conditions and aggressive forms of cancer. Physicians examining construction workers and emergency personnel frequently diagnose their patients with a variety of obstructive lung problems and several distinctive respiratory issues, including:

  • Cancer
  • Acid reflux
  • Upper and lower airway disease
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Asbestosis and mesothelioma
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Silicosis
  • Reactive airway dysfunction syndrome and occupational asthma, also called WTC cough

These breathing problems typically require costly medications, frequent doctor’s visits, lung surgery and extensive medical treatment, including chemotherapy.

Fortunately, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 makes compensation and funds for medical expenses available to WTC workers. Experienced personal injury attorneys in New York City will help workers file a Zadroga Act claim with no upfront fees. Plus, attorney’s fees are limited to ten percent of the total amount awarded under the Zadroga Act. The heroes of 9/11 should not have to choose between purchasing food for their families and paying for chemotherapy medications. They deserve compensation and medical attention.

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