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Asbestos in the Dust from WTC article

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More Bad News from 9-11

Asbestos in the Dust

A new report warning that excessive amounts of asbestos, blasted into an ultra fine power, mixed with the white dust from the September 11 World Trade Center attack, is very bad news for thousands of people living and working in the area.

A Newsweek web story by David France said HP Environmental, a Virginia based research team, found that the force of the explosions shattered the asbestos from the buildings to such small particles they evaded original testing by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.

French said the study concluded: "there is such an overwhelming concentration of those ultra small particles that many are being missed by standard microscopy techniques."

France quotes Hugh Granger, author of the report, that the asbestos was "pulverized. . . When we now measure and look for these very small fibers in the air and buildings, we find them, and we find them in uniquely elevated concentrations."

If the study is true, this may be very bad news for the thousands of people caught in or near the World Trace Center on the morning of the attack, who thought they escaped.

It may be very bad news for the hundreds of volunteer fire fighters, police officers and other people who traveled to Manhattan from all over the United States to help search for bodies and participate in the clean-up effort. As the machines around them stirred the dust, they were breathing it in their lungs. Many workers were wearing masks over their mouths and noses and that may have been of some help.

It may be very bad news for the thousands of people who live and work in nearby buildings, that were saturated with several inches of the fine powdery dust that seeped in through tiny cracks in the doors, walls and windows. The asbestos was found for several blocks from the blast site, and as high as the 30th floor in many office and apartment buildings.

It may be very bad news for the thousands of visitors from all over the world who have come to gawk at the magnitude of the destruction. Some people were even said to be taking home jars of dust as personal souvenirs of the event.

It also would be very bad news for the professional cleaning workers hired to clean the nearby apartments and business places.

Anyone close enough to get this deadly dust in the lungs, is in danger of dying in the next few years of lung cancer or asbestosis. Both are diseases of the lungs brought on by irritation from the ultra hard sharp particles, which get imbedded in the lungs and cannot be removed.

The majestic twin towers were completed in 1972 and 1973 back when asbestos was still an accepted material for floor tile, insulation and wrappings for heat and air conditioning ducts in commercial buildings. Obviously the World Trade Center was laced with asbestos.

When in a solid form, asbestos is safe to be around. But it is a very hard material that breaks down into tiny needle-shaped particles when smashed. These particles are so tiny they float with dust in the air and can be easily inhaled into the lungs.

The asbestos fibers are so hard the body cannot break them down or remove them once they become lodged in lung or body tissues. There are three primary types of disease caused by asbestos exposure. These are lung cancer, mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer of the lining of the lungs), and asbestosis, or scarring of the lungs.

All three diseases are usually fatal.

Asbestosis is a serious, chronic respiratory disease that causes shortness of breath and a dry crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling. In the advanced state asbestosis can cause cardiac failure. It is a disease more common among people who work at renovation or demolition of buildings containing asbestos.

Ironically, people who are exposed to asbestos are at the greatest risk of lung cancer if they also are exposed to some other carcinogen such as smoke. That the workers in and around the World Trade Center wreckage also breathed the smoke from fires that raged deep in the rubble, means that the risk of disease from asbestos exposure is very high.

According to medical reports, there also is evidence that people who ingest asbestos also are at risk of cancers in the esophagus, larynx, oral cavity, stomach, colon and kidney.

The terrorists who flew those aircraft into the two towers on Sept. 11 started a chain reaction of suffering and death that may continue for years.

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