Understanding the Environmental & Health Impacts of 09/11 Attacks

On the eighth year anniversary of the 09/11 attacks, we here at EcoWorld find ourselves left remembering horrifying images and videos in the moments and days following the attacks. And, while we all feel markedly safer in these eight years that have followed – a logical thing for environmentalists to do is to turn their attention towards the environmental impacts of those attacks.

The Health Effects of September 11th Attacks
Wikipedia has an incredibly detailed article that discusses some of the most adverse health effects caused by the 09/11 attacks. The health effects range from illnesses caused to those working at ground zero (including cancer) to the fact that nearly 70% of all first responders report illnesses.

As Wikipedia also mentions, Jill Gardiner of the October 4, 2006 issue of the New York Sun said that premature deaths and other ailments of dogs in the area are “our canary in the coalmine.”

Feelgood Foundation
At EcoWorld, we believe that you should donate or support whatever charities you believe to be worthwhile. While we’re not urging you to donate to the Feelgood Foundation, we found a good deal of information on the health impacts of 09/11 on their web site and in their profile videos. If you’re interested in supporting the victims of 09/11 who continue to struggle with health and adverse effects of the attacks and cleanup, Feelgood Foundation may be worth looking into.

More Than 450 Links of Interest
Jon Gold is a blogger ovr at 911Blogger.com, and one of his posts are particulary interesting as it contains links to more than 450 online resources discussing the health and environmental impacts of 09/11.

The entire list, which is far too large to reproduce here on EcoWorld can be found here on 911Blogger.com along with reader commentary and suggestions.

Jon Gold also produced this video, 9/11 Truth: The Environmental Impact Of 9/11. Warning, political content included:

Were Environmental Dangers Covered Up?
Again, the topics surrounding the 09/11 attacks are politically charged – but we suggest that our readers consider the environmental impact and facts of the story before forming opinions. We’re in the business of providing you with environmental commentary and articles – not shaping your politicial views.

That said, there’s an article on The Sunday Herald Talk web site that claims the “Environmental impact of 9/11 worse than feared”. In that article, written on the 5th anniversary of the attacks, there’s a powerful series of statements:

The New York Environmental Law & Justice Project, which has been disseminating information about the aftermath of 9/11 since just after the attack, launched the accusation in the wake of a Mount Sinai study revealing that 70 percent of Ground Zero workers have experienced serious health effects.

“Internal government memos we have acquired suggest that misrepresentation of the health effects of the 9/11 attacks directly led to serious long-term health problems for Ground Zero workers. Additionally, residents, students, and employees of Ground Zero area businesses were exposed to poisonous air toxins,” said Joel Kupferman, the project’s executive director.

“The New York Environmental Law & Justice Project, along with others, warned in 2001 that WTC site first responders were working under dangerous conditions and that allowing re-occupancy would place New Yorkers in imminent and substantial danger of adverse health effects.”

Asking whether provision of adequate equipment and training could have prevented the diseases and other consequences, Kupferman alleges that government officials deliberately misrepresented the dangers posed by hazardous debris.

“On October 5, 2001, the Chief of the Response and Prevention Branch for the EPA notified the N.Y. City Department of Health of its concern that Ground Zero workers were daily being exposed to a wide variety of hazardous dangers from three major sources including destroyed building material such as asbestos, on-site hazardous material storage such as refrigerants, and combustion products from smoldering debris.

“The EPA memo concludes with a recommendation for the DOH to implement and enforce health and safety procedures for Ground Zero workers. This document serves as further proof that EPA officials were aware of the severity of the danger at Ground Zero in contrast to their public statements at the time.

“We are concerned that current air quality at Ground Zero and surrounding areas may continue to expose untold numbers of workers, residents, visitors, and students to unacceptable levels of hazardous air. FOIL and FOIA requests made by the Project to the DOH about current air quality data have been met with resistance,” he said.

Do you Have Information to Share?
As a growing topic, we look forward to sharing more information with our web site visitors and regular readers. If you feel there are inaccuracies in this article or have more information to share, please comment on this article below and let us know. We are committed to making regular updates to ensure this article remains informative and factual.

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