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The Lingering Consequences

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posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 02:10 AM
I typically do not post in this particular forum- partially because I remain agnostic on just what the hell happened that fateful day. But in reading the following article, something occurred to me that I have not seen a great deal of discussion on.

‘Absolutely Horrifying’

Construction supervisor John Feal arrived at Ground Zero the day after the September 11 World Trade Center attacks to help with the recovery efforts. He only worked there for five days—forced to stop when a falling steel beam crushed his left foot—but the experience has never stopped haunting him.

Feal, now 39, has had surgery on his foot more than two dozen times and still walks with a lopsided gait. But he’s developed other health problems, too, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, posttraumatic-stress disorder and respiratory problems. His lung capacity has diminished to the point that he occasionally stops to gasp for breath midsentence. Unable to work, and struggling to cover his mounting medical bills, Feal says at times he's felt like he's “slipping through the cracks.”

As health officials are discovering, Feal is not alone.

Only one responder’s death—that of New York City police detective James Zadroga, who succumbed to respiratory failure in January—has been directly linked by a medical examiner to his exposure to environmental toxins at Ground Zero. But at least six other deaths (from causes ranging from heart failure to lung cancer) have been reported among responders in their 30s and 40s who worked at the World Trade Center site. And thousands more are struggling with health problems far worse than officials initially anticipated. “People think that it’s just a few guys from 9/11 suffering,” says Feal, “but there are literally thousands of us.”


Here's my question... Can anyone find historical precedent for this many people becoming acutely sick by mere exposure to collapsed building debris?

I am aware that the WTC contained asbestos:

Asbestos fibers in the air and rubble following the collapse of the World Trade Center is adding to fears in the aftermath of Tuesday’s terrorist attack...

In 1971, New York City banned the use of asbestos in spray fireproofing. At that time, asbestos insulating material had only been sprayed up to the 64th floor of the World Trade Center towers...



Some but not all of it was later removed in an abatement program.


There are some problems I have with each of those articles, but leaving those aside, asbestos (even in significant quantities) wouldn't appear to account for the types of ailments described by sufferers, their acute nature, or the speed of their onset...

Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory medical condition affecting the parenchymal tissue of the lungs. It occurs after long-term, heavy exposure to asbestos...

Moreover, the original article of this thread states:’s clear that many of the estimated 40,000 police, firefighters and other workers who came to the site to assist in rescue and recovery efforts have begun suffering from similar and sometimes serious ailments during the past four and a half years...

Dr. Levin at Mount Sinai, where more than 16,000 people have been screened, says, “We are seeing people for the first time now, more than four years later, who have been persistently symptomatic for all that time and haven’t been screened or gotten care.” He suspects there may be many more...

Then there is this guy's story:

“We didn’t think about all the contamination,” says Sanchez. After just two days, his throat became irritated and he developed a chronic cough. But it was another year before Sanchez, a lifetime nonsmoker, was screened and diagnosed with several ailments—ranging from asthma and acid reflux to posttraumatic-stress disorder—and traced them back to his days at Ground Zero. He now takes 18 different medications a day and hasn’t been able to work for three years, nor can he pick up his 5-year-old son or play soccer on the weekends any longer. Some days, he can barely climb a flight of stairs and must use a cane because of the pain in his joints.

Doesn't sound like asbestos to me... So what caused it? Just how many contaminants could be in those buildings? Wouldn't this be true of the rubble found in ANY city struck by disaster? Why doesn't there appear to be any historical precedent for illness on this scale caused by mere exposure to building debris?

I am aware of the theory that thermite was used to bring the towers down. See for example:

POLITICS: Physics Prof Says Explosives, Not Fires Brought Down WTC Towers

A thermite reaction (a type of aluminothermic reaction) is one in which aluminium metal is oxidized by the oxide of another metal, most commonly iron oxide. The name thermite is also used to refer to a mixture of two such chemicals. The products are aluminium oxide, free elemental iron, and a large amount of heat. The reactants are commonly powdered and mixed with a binder to keep the material solid and prevent separation.



Mechanism of Toxic Action

Powdered or granulated aluminum and powdered iron oxide mixture which reacts violently when heated (at ~2200°C). Reaction produces aluminum oxide and elemental iron.


Now, look at these symptoms associated with exposure to aluminum oxide:

Inhalation: May cause respiratory tract irritation and/or lung damage.

Eye: Dust may cause eye irritation.

Skin: Dust may cause skin irritation.

Ingestion: Large amounts may cause gastrointestinal irritation.


See, also, this long list of the effects of aluminum exposure, generally.

Does this look like something worth investigating further?

I thought I'd ask the preeminent experts here on ATS...

Something does NOT make sense to me about the scale and nature of the illnesses being reported....


WTC Injury Links

[edit on 5-6-2006 by loam]

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 02:23 AM
Is it standard for there to be a high level of asbestos in collapsed buildings? Is that not something that would be designed out by the 70's, when the towers were built?

I'm guessing it probably is the norm... but if it isn't, what would the towers had to have contained for these levels of asbestos and poison to show up?

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 09:13 AM

Originally posted by firebat
Is that not something that would be designed out by the 70's, when the towers were built?

You might have missed that in my post, but it appears no one really knows how much asbestos was in the buildings. Notwithstanding that, the illnesses reported don't seem to fully match asbestos exposure in any event.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 01:41 PM
I recall reading about this fairly recently but I can't find the material now. I believe one of the toxic elements in the air was mercury mostly from all the computers that were demolished. Also another interesting fact the EPA told all the workers at ground zero that the air quality was such that they would not suffer any long-range effects. Of course Christina Todd Whitman is no longer head of the EPA. It is also projected that more will die from this 'safe' air than died on 9/11. I'm still looking for my sources.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 01:52 PM
I don't know...

Here's what I found on Mercury Inhalation:

Inhalation of elemental mercury vapors is the main cause of toxicity, as mercury is well absorbed by the lungs. To develop problems by inhalation you need either a large one-time exposure or a long-term exposure. A small, one-time exposure is not likely to cause problems.
What are the symptoms?

After a large, one-time inhalation exposure of mercury vapor, the lungs are the main target of mercury poisoning, although other symptoms develop as well. Symptoms may develop within a few hours and include chills, metallic taste, mouth sores, swollen gums, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, weakness, confusion, shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness, bronchitis, pneumonia and kidney damage.

How does long-term exposure differ from a short-term exposure?

Long-term exposure (usually work-related) of inhaled vapors is generally more dangerous than a one-time short exposure. After long-term inhalation exposure, the nervous system is the main target of toxicity. Symptoms may occur within weeks but usually develop insidiously over a period of years. Neurologic symptoms include tremors, headaches, short-term memory loss, incoordination, weakness, loss of appetite, altered sense of taste and smell, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, insomnia, and excessive sweating. Psychiatric effects are also seen after long-term exposure. Acrodynia can result from repeated exposures to mercury-containing latex paint fumes. Acrodynia is usually seen in younger children. The symptoms include chills, sweating, body rash, irritability, sleeplessness, leg cramps, swelling of the cheeks, nose, hands and feet, light-sensitivity to the eyes and peeling skin layers on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.


The symptoms don't quite match. Moreover, I'm doubtful there is that much mercury in office equipment to cause illness on the scale seen here. I'll see what I can find on that front.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 02:13 PM
There are scores of things that would create a nasty waste if broken up. Think of all that lead in the electronical devices, mercury, other heavy metals in batteries etc., even alpha emittors in fluorescent dials and so on...

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 03:40 PM
Good find loam

Im glad you brought up the thermite possibility. Also good to see the results from the mercury question aswell. This may definately contribute to the thermite theory.

I think you might be on to something with this.
Asbestos poisoning is not likely given the symtpoms. Mercury would leave a tell tale calling card. And the symptoms definately bear more resemblance to thermite reactions and not the other two. So far, so good.

But, to give thermite the credit we must first push aside any other "toxins" that may be resposonsible. Some questions I was pondering whilst reading this that may help to solidify your arguement.

1st.) What other "toxins" were present that day and in what quantities?

2nd.) How would those multiple toxins intermingle and what would those effects be?

3rd.)any mixing of misc. materials,gases,vapors, etc.. that either alone or combined with; either question 1 or 2 or both. And the effects of such aswell?

If after asnwering these two questions(which could be exhausting in itself) you still have thermite as the main possibility, then you are seriously helping the thermite theory advance.
by the same accord this may also end up disproving this theory depending on those findings aswell.

Im not sure if these questions are very good but I feel it necc. to rule out ALL other possible contingencies before we can conclude that it is or is not thermite. When I have some time later in the week(hopefully) I can help answer some of these myself(unless you guys beat me to it)

thank you for your time

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 04:23 PM
They're always keen to cover up anything relating to nasty things like the use of asbestos. Generally the attitude seems to be that due to the expense it's something that can be just put off continuously while you hope nothing ever goes wrong and someone squeals or more importantly sues.
An MOD contractor I worked for about a decade ago was based at an old manor house and there were lots of semi-permanent structures in the grounds much like very large versions of the cabins you might get at schools or on a building site. The inner walls in most were made from asbestos I believe, mainly due to the signs dotted about the place telling you not to knock them or use drawing pins due to the asbestos risk. Of course it was technically illegal I believe and they should have been ripped down years before and replaced but as usual penny pinching means they weren't.
It wasn't really that long ago and certainly in the era that the WTC was built that asbestos was a favourite for all kinds of things, from roofing and walls to brake pads and clutch linings in cars.
There would have been lots of toxic substances I imagine, not just asbestos..

There would have been the highly poisonous phosphor and mercury in the countless fluorescent tubes for instance:

Breakage Safety
Fluorescent lamps have several hazards if broken. Depending on the type, there may be a partial vacuum or the lamp may be under pressure. Breaking the glass can cause shrapnel injuries, along with the release of mercury and other hazardous compounds.
The biggest immediate injury threat from a broken lamp is from the phosphor-coated glass. If cut with fluorescent lamp glass, any phosphor that gets into the wound is likely to prevent blood clotting and will interfere with healing. Such injuries should be treated seriously and immediate medical attention should be obtained for people or pets that are cut. Medical personnel should be informed that the injuries were caused by a broken fluorescent lamp, and that mercury was present.

Mercury Safety
All fluorescent lamps contain a small amount of elemental mercury (Hg), also known as quicksilver. When lamps are cold, some of the mercury in the lamp is in liquid form, but while the lamp is operating, or when the lamp is hot, most of the mercury is in a gaseous or vapor form.
Mercury vapor is a highly toxic substance, with an "extreme" rating as a poison. Even in liquid form, contact with mercury is considered life-threatening or a "severe" risk to health. Mercury can cause severe respiratory tract damage, brain damage, kidney damage, central nervous system damage, and many other serious medical conditions even for extremely small doses.

That alone a serious risk, especially considering the mercury would be vaporised into the surrounding air together with the phosphor dust.

Americium from the fire detectors, an Alpha radiation emitter. Not very good for the health when ingested or inhaled.

Various chemicals used in maintenance and cleaning.

Fiberglass I'm sure was in abundance, there is debate as to the possibility that it is a carcinogen in humans. Early test on rats indicate the possibility of respiratory tract cancer, but there has since been no evidence to show it is a threat to humans... apparantly - there's another conspiracy maybe, imagine the financial losses in stopping production and replacing it, not only that but finding an alternative!

Concrete dust, something that both Demolition believers and OS believer can all agree was in abundance, again a serious long and short term risk.. DBs you'll love the first source as it's an article from Demolition Magazine:

Crystalline silica is the basic component of sand, quartz and granite rock. Airborne crystalline silica occurs commonly in both work and non-work environments. Activities such as a sandblasting, rock drilling, roof bolting, foundry work, stonecutting, drilling, quarrying, brick/block/concrete cutting, gunite operations, lead-based paint encapsulant applications, asphalt paving, cement products manufacturing, demolition operations, hammering, chipping and sweeping concrete or masonry, and tunneling operations can create an airborne silica exposure hazard.

Occupational exposure and inhalation of airborne crystalline silica can produce silicosis, a disabling, dust-related disease of the lungs. Even materials containing small amounts of crystalline silica may be hazardous if they are used in ways that produce high dust concentrations. Depending on the length of exposure, silicosis is a progressive and many times a fatal disease that accounts for approximately three hundred deaths annually in the construction industry, or 10% of all silicosis-related deaths annually.

Inhaling silica dust has also been associated with other diseases, such as tuberculosis and lung cancer. There is no cure for silicosis, but it is a 100% preventable occupational disease.

Acute Inhalation:Cutting, grinding, crushing, or drillinghardened concrete or concrete productsmay generate dust containing crystallinesilica. Repeated exposures to very highlevels of respirable crystalline silica (quartz,cristobalite, tridymite) for periods as short assix months have caused acute silicosis.Acute silicosis is a rapidly progressive,incurable lung disease that is typically fatal.Dusts may irritate the nose, throat, andrespiratory tract by mechanical abrasion.Coughing, sneezing, and shortness ofbreath may occur.Chronic effects:Chronic bronchitis may result from chronicexposure to dust generated from cutting,grinding, crushing, or drilling hardenedconcrete. Chronic exposure to respirablelimestone dust in excess of the ACGIH TLVhas caused pneumoconiosis (Dusty Lung).Concrete dust may contain more than 0.1%crystalline silica, which is a cancer hazard ifinhaled. Cancer risk depends on durationand level of exposure. Prolonged exposureto crystalline silica can cause silicosis, aprogressive pneumoconisis (lung disease).

Basically, in laymans terms, having dust formed by various materials being inhaled into your lungs is generally just not going to be good for you no matter how you look at it really.
Those were off the top of my head, I'm sure if you think about it there are plenty more.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 04:29 PM
i actually remember reading about this but forget where

the problem was that they were all ment to be wearing masks when working at ground zero because of the dangers of this. there is actually a lawsuit pending,
il see if i can find the link

ok found it

Hundreds of workers who helped clean up after the 9/11 attacks on New York have filed a lawsuit alleging they were not protected against toxic chemicals.
They want compensation - said to be billions of dollars - from the World Trade Center's leaseholder and four companies that helped remove debris.

The lawsuit also calls for the health of all those allegedly exposed to the toxins to be monitored for 20 years.

The defendants have yet to comment on the lawsuit, which was filed on Friday.


[edit on 043030p://30064 by ronishia]

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 04:59 PM
First thing I thought of was silicosis, as defined by OSHA:

Silicosis is a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by overexposure to respirable crystalline silica. More than one million U.S. workers are exposed to crystalline silica, and each year more than 250 die from silicosis. There is no cure for the disease, but it is 100 percent preventable if employers, workers, and health professionals work together to reduce exposures.

The Black Lung of concrete, get enough of the dust in your lungs and they turn into lumps of cement. And it's not just the dust we can see. Silica particles are fine enough to be invisible and naturally occurs in the air around us.

[edit on 5-6-2006 by psyopswatcher]

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 10:04 PM

Originally posted by psyopswatcher
First thing I thought of was silicosis, as defined by OSHA:

Again, the problem I have with that is that the symptoms do not match the description. Moreover, silicosis is easy to recognize.

The scale of this thing REALLY bugs me.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 10:10 PM
Thanks for the post, AgentSmith.

Originally posted by AgentSmith
Basically, in laymans terms, having dust formed by various materials being inhaled into your lungs is generally just not going to be good for you no matter how you look at it really.

I can't disagree...
However, wouldn't you expect similar exposure occurrences at other natural disaster sites...(ie, earthquake rubble)? I'm having real difficulty finding a match to the scope and scale of the ailments described here. Why is that?

[edit on 5-6-2006 by loam]

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 10:55 PM
on the DVD i watch "9/11, confronting the evidence" a woman stood infront of an audience explaining all the diffenet health hazards in the dust on 9/11. yes asbestos, but also lead in computer monitors and cpu's, zink, mercury (flouresent lights and fire detectors), and in the end said:

"the air quality was equivilent to that of Drain-O".

she also explained how even though the air was so bad, the EPA said "the air was safe to breath" in order to re-open wall street.

she also said that often cleanup workers were asked not to wear their masks for fear that it might alarm the public.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 10:59 PM
There's no question something is making all these people sick. But again, why is there no historical precedent for this??? I'm still looking and can find nothing.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 11:37 PM

Originally posted by loam
There's no question something is making all these people sick. But again, why is there no historical precedent for this??? I'm still looking and can find nothing.

Our army medical experts are attributing the Gulf syndrome to a similar mix of toxic and carcinogen agents found in close vicinity of destroyed taks (regardless by what means) which burnt out, plus add the dense smoke from burning oil wells etc...
However I am no toxicologist so I cannot help too much.

posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 11:49 PM

Originally posted by tom goose
on the DVD i watch "9/11, confronting the evidence" a woman stood infront of an audience explaining all the diffenet health hazards in the dust on 9/11.

Was it Indira Singh, maybe? She became a civilian medic on 9/11 at the WTC and, though under a gag order, has told some interesting stories.

She's testified to there being more than the illnesses reported here. Different cancers (not just lung if I'm not mistaken), messy sores of some type and even clean up workers' hair falling out have all been reported in addition to what has already been pointed out in this thread.

posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 02:13 AM

Originally posted by bsbray11

Originally posted by tom goose
on the DVD i watch "9/11, confronting the evidence" a woman stood infront of an audience explaining all the diffenet health hazards in the dust on 9/11.

Was it Indira Singh, maybe? She became a civilian medic on 9/11 at the WTC and, though under a gag order, has told some interesting stories.

She's testified to there being more than the illnesses reported here. Different cancers (not just lung if I'm not mistaken), messy sores of some type and even clean up workers' hair falling out have all been reported in addition to what has already been pointed out in this thread.

no, Singh sounds like a hindu sir name no? this woman was cuccasian, i tried to find the dvd for her name but i forgot that i lent it to a friend. it is a definate must see dvd though. they hold a panel of experts infront of a live audience, and everyone iv'e shown the dvd to regardless if it was their first time being exposed, were completely convinced.

posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 10:34 AM

Just ran into this today. It is trying to make some kind of determination about ground zero toxins. Also note 6 deaths attributed to ground zero clean up, I was aware of 3. The toll is mounting.

posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 12:07 PM

Is this what you're talking about?

And Indira is here (though there is another woman, Marsha Looper, on the panel, as you can see above):


posted on Jun, 6 2006 @ 08:53 PM

no sorry, she actually looks more like the one on the left but with poofy grayish brown hair and a "fisp" in her voice.

i feel like im leading you on. i will make it my mission this evening to get that dvd back so we can settle this.

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