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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #83 -- 9/11 - The Day That Will Live In Infamy
September 10, 2011
(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)
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9/11 - The Day That Will Live In Infamy
After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, then president Roosevelt later called it the "day that would live in infamy." Over two thousand American lives were lost in that secret attack.
(Dramatic photo showing the collapse of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Getty photo.)
Almost 60 years later, on September 11, 2001, another secret attack was launched on the United States. And as happened in the Pearl Harbor attack, over two thousand American lives were snuffed out.
Michael McAuliff has first hand knowledge of the awful experience suffered by thousands of first responders (firemen, policemen, emergency medical personnel) and civilians who were at the scene. He was a reporter covering the disaster for ABCNews.com.
Michael had the foresight to capture and save some of the choking, gray dust that day. He describes the dust as "clumpy, powerdery."
The dust was literally captured from the air - prior to its hitting the ground. It is a sample of the powder that was breathed by thousands.
The dust cloud was so pressurized that it forced its way into pockets, briefcases, ears and lungs. Its density was such that it caused a dry, hissing, crackling sound as it subsided and rained to the ground.
"The dust cloud is a complex mix of hundreds - and possibly thousands - of chemical substances, a small portion of which we have a relatively good understanding of what was present, and the majority of which we don’t have any idea what it was," says David Newman, an industrial hygienist with the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health.
It has been estimated that the weight of that deadly cloud was ten million tons!
According to Philip Landrigan, chairman at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a lead 9/11 health researcher:
"Two thirds of the mass was pulverized concrete. That was very, very caustic. It had a pH of 10 or 11, which is why the stuff burned people's eyes and noses and respiratory tracts and the esophagus".
Doctors believe that those high, alkaline pH levels are responsible for the widespread "Trade Center cough" suffered by the people who were trapped by its presence.
The dust cloud burned the lining of the respiratory tract - which then resulted in a scar. The scar produced contractions that destroy the basic makeup of the lung.
A study of 27,000 responders found that 42 percent had lung damage, 42 percent suffered sinusitis, and 39 percent developed GERD.
When McAuliff finally submitted to medical tests, he found that he suffered no apparent ill effects. In fact, his lung capacity was tested as 140 percent of a 45 year-old his size. Philip Landrigan says that McAuliff may have been spared because he breathed through his shirt.
An exhaustive laboratory analysis of the cloud revealed that 50 percent of its components were "non-fibrous" including polystyrene foam, vermiculite mineral, combustion product (carbon soot), mineral dust of gypsum, calcite, dolomite and quartz. The other half was fibrous material including "cellulose (wood and paper fragments), fibrous glass such as glass wool with yellow resin coating, Fiberglass, colorless mineral wool, refractory ceramic fibers, limestone, calcites, carbon fibers, synthetics (including fragments of cloth) and chrysotile asbestos associated with the lime and carbonate insulation debris.
The lab test also discovered "additional chemical signatures of silicates, kaolin clays, pigments (TiO2), calcites, dolomites, carbonates, metal complexes (sub-micron chromium, aluminum/iron matrices) and chrysotile asbestos."
In a more grimmer footnote, other laboratory analyses revealed very fine fragments of photographs, fingernails, bones, hair, and human tissue.
Medical researchers say that cancer is a very real future threat. The incidence of 9/11 related cancers may escalate.
"Going forward, as we get into the second decade and beyond, things like chrysotile, which is a form of asbestos, are going to emerge as the big players, because now we're getting into the time frame when the cancers from 9/11 are very likely to increase in numbers".
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