Families & First Responders

The 9/11/01 attacks killed nearly 3,000 individuals on the day itself, and injured tens of thousands more, due to the toxic effects of the destruction of the World Trade Center.


The exact number of people killed on the day of the attack will never be known because the destruction of the Twin Towers so thoroughly degraded human remains that more than one thousand apparent victims have yet to be identified.

Other methods of ennumerating the victims are inherently inexact. One reason is that the attack on New York City almost certainly killed undocumented aliens. Estimates for the number of fatalities declined steadily in the weeks after the attack, and eventually stabilized at around 2,800.

Health Impacts

The destruction of the World Trade Center subjected tens of thousands of people to toxic dust and smoke by at least three routes:

  • Vast dust enveloped Lower Manhattan in the wake of the total destruction of each of the Twin Towers.
  • Copious fine dust from those dust clouds settled and covered surfaces inside and outside of buildings throughout Lower Manhattan.
  • Fires and other chemical reactions at Ground Zero produced uncontrolled atmospheric emissions that persisted into December of 2001.

The latter two sources of exposures were greatly aggravated by false assurances from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The magnitude of the public health catastrophy has emerged slowly. Mainstream publications began publishing extensive stories about fatalities and widespread illness attributable to such exposures in 2006.

Legal Actions

At least two class action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of victims of Ground Zero exposures

Protests and Vigils

Survivors and exposure victims have organized of protests and vigils advocating for a number of goals, including proper burial of the killed, adequate treatment of the injured, and release of information relating to the attack and the government's response.

Care and Compensation

A number of special programs have been established to aid victims of Ground Zero exposures.

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