Nineteen years ago, the nation recoiled in horror as two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre towers in New York City on Sept. 11, claiming the lives of more than 3,000 people.  After the towers collapsed, firefighters, policemen and other emergency responders and volunteers rushed to Ground Zero to rescue anyone who still was alive beneath the rubble. Once rescue efforts became recovery and clean-up efforts, workers continued to toil at the site.

But the calamity continues today.  From the moment the towers collapsed, a toxic cloud filled with asbestos particles, shards of fiberglass and other toxins shrouded Ground Zero.  Consequently, many of the responders and volunteers some say as many as 40,000 who spent days or even months at the World Trade Centre site have reported a slew of irreversible and chronic illnesses ranging from upper and lower respiratory ailments to gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and cancer.

Posted on the AIHA website by Bernard L. Fontaine