As introduced in a previous article, workers who assisted in the aftermath of September 11 have experienced severe lung problems. The LA Times recently interviewed a janitor who spent six months cleaning dusts from office buildings around Ground Zero after the World Trade Center attack. 5 years later, his lungs are packed with severe scars and densities, possibly a sign of disease that can cause lung tissue to stop functioning. He speaks occasionally in whispery puffs and for some periods he is unable to speak at all.
Unfortunately, the heroes who helped in the aftermath of September 11 will continue to experience respiratory conditions due to the caustic pulverized concrete, trillions of microscopic fibers of glass, and particles of lead, mercury, and arsenic in addition to carcinogens like asbestos and dioxin that surrounded the aftermath. The number of New Yorkers coming forward to describe the symptoms is increasing. It includes not only the first responders, but also the volunteers who visited the scene and students at a nearby school who returned to classes while acrid fires burned nearby.