The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City left thousands of people dead and injured. Many of people who helped out in the aftermath of the attack are still alive today, and according to Dr. Raja Flores, a renowned thoracic surgeon, those helpers, including firefighters, police officers, and more, may start to develop asbestos-related diseases.
Dr. Flores has been treating people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases for more than 20 years, and part of his experiences shows that people exposed to asbestos start having the first symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases within 15 to 20 years after initial exposure to asbestos. It sometimes takes up to 50 years before the symptoms surface.
Although Dr. Flores wishes his assumptions were wrong, he thinks that there will a large spike in asbestos diseases surfacing soon from those who helped or were around the aftermath of 9/11.
“I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. We’ve seen a little of it so far, but I think we’ve just scratched the surface. You’re going to start seeing a lot of these cases in the future.”
Dr. Flores indicated that it may be a little while before the rates of mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases start to rise. Although some people may develop symptoms within a few years, these are rare cases. Flores states that by next year, we may see the rates slowly start to grow, but within 25 years, an influx of new people with asbestos illnesses will surface.
“We still need a little more time. Between 15 and 20 years out, we’ll start seeing it in individuals one-by-one, but by 25 years out, it will be real obvious what has happened. Again, I hope I’m wrong, but I think I know how this is going to turn out.”
In the meantime, U.S. Congress is gearing up to help people that were affected by 9/11. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act will more than likely be extended this year, and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program, which are due to expire soon, will probably be extended as well.
According to John Feal, president of the non-profit organization, Fealgood Foundation, Congress has not extended to programs yet, but he fully expects it to happen within the next few months.
“I fully expect an extension to pass at some point in October or November. It’s going through. I know people are getting nervous about it, but the broad support is there this time. This is not me predicting the weather next week. It’s me predicting what I know and have seen the last 14 years. A bill will get passed.”
Compensation Across the Nation
NYC residents are not the only ones suffering from the aftermath of September 11, 2001. There are people all over the nation currently receiving 9/11 benefits.
Volunteers across the nation showed up to lend a hand after the 9/11 tragedy, and subsequently, many of those volunteers now receive compensation benefits. New York has the highest number of people receiving benefits, followed by volunteers from Florida, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.
Cancer victims associated with 9/11 accounts for 18% of all claimants. If Flores is correct, this number will more than likely triple.
Additional Help and Resources
If you or a loved one have been injured by asbestos, you may be entitled to significant compensation. We invite to use our Attorney Locator Tool to find an experienced mesothelioma lawyer.
If you have questions or need assistance feel free to contact us at 800-694-4856.