Wednesday, 8 September 2010
(Image from dailymail.co.uk)
At the weekend I was catching up on my YOU mag reading and came across an article that left me feeling, well a real mixture of emotions actually. Sad, shocked, disgusted, sympathetic and amazed, among others. I also felt slightly naive that I had not known of this before and completely helpless. My helplessness spurred me to write this post in order to make other people who may not know yet, consciously aware of the situation. Therefore ‘Recommendation’ is the wrong word for this post title, it is more about awareness.
The topic I am referring to is the resulting effect that the toxic fumes and dust of 9/11 have had on the survivors and the service men and women who risked their lives to help in the tragedy. They are known as the ‘shadow victims’ and as disastrous and unfair as it was for 2,975 innocent people to lose their lives nine years ago this month, there are a further 420,000 people who were heavily exposed to World Trade Center toxins which are now causing respiratory illnesses and cancers; not to mention the 817 people who have already died from illnesses through being responders working on site. Making 9/11 not only a terrible terrorist attack but a huge environmental disaster.
When you Google ‘shadow victims of 9/11’ not that much information is found which leads me to believe many people are unaware of the situation. So many men and women risked their lives that day, as our soldiers do everyday, and their illnesses were and are continually disregarded as having nothing to do with their exposure to toxic fumes by doctors. As the WTC buildings were the most computerised buildings in the world, can you just imagine the amount of chemicals released from there including lead, asbestos, dioxin, mercury from 500,000 fluorescent lights, and emissions from over 200,000 gallons of diesel plus deadly PVCs? It’s unthinkable.
It’s astonishing that these ‘shadow victims’ are one, having to go through such severe if not terminal illnesses, two, having to go through court proceedings in order to fight for the recognition that their diseases were caused by 9/11 fumes, and three, with the lack of post-disaster healthcare combined with the costs of health insurance and medical bills in America, victims are facing thousands of dollars worth of bills when they can no longer work.
I found this article and the information I learnt absolutely shocking. I strongly recommend you have a read and I’m sure it will have the same effect on you. Everyone is aware of the devastation felt on that nationally remembered day but are we aware of this huge environmental disaster that has effected thousands?