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Mesothelioma and the 9/11 attacks

The newly passed James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is designed to help individuals injured during the 9/11 terrorist attacks receive compensation - including individuals suffering from mesothelioma. Though no cancers were originally covered under the act, Congress has now set aside a $2.8 billion fund to help compensate such cancer victims.

It has been estimated that as much as 400 tons of asbestos was used when the World Trade Centers were originally constructed. It is now believed that asbestos and other substances were released across Manhattan after the two planes struck the World Trade Centers.

Though the release of asbestos did not affect any area of Pennsylvania, obviously the 9/11 attacks have had personal significance for individuals in our state and across the nation. There has long been discussion to assist victims injured in the two crashes in any way we can.

We will have to see if the process of compensating victims will go smoothly. The process is likely going to be complicated, and many victims may require the assistance of an attorney to walk them through the claim process.

It's believed that as many as 400 people have since died of cancer that was related to substances inhaled on the day of the terrorist attacks. It has further been reported that 20,000 to 40,000 more individuals likely have been medically affected by substances that were inhaled during days following the attacks.

Congress has been slow to acknowledge any connection between the breathing in of the dust and cancer related deaths. Such a delay is likely in part because compensation is bound to be extremely expensive. Those victims that have been diagnosed with mesothelioma are not likely to recover, and the only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.

Source: Asbestos.com, "Mesothelioma Among the Cancers Now Covered by 9/11 Health and Compensation Act," September 11, 2012

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