WTC Volunteer Saves Asbestos-Laden Shirt

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A plain white dress shirt, worn by a volunteer who spent about 48 hours at Ground Zero immediately after the attacks, is laden with extremely high levels of asbestos.

The New York Post recently reported that a plain white dress shirt, worn by a volunteer who spent about 48 hours at Ground Zero immediately after the attacks, is laden with extremely high levels of asbestos.

The shirt, belonging to community liaison Yehuda Kaploun, was stowed away by the volunteer in a plastic bag just a few days after the attack. Kaploun originally saved the shirt to honor those who had perished in the attacks on the World Trade Center, including his friend Father Mychal Judge. Today, he hopes the findings as to the levels of contamination on the shirt will help 9/11 volunteers get help for the diseases they are likely to develop in the future, such as asbestos-related mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs.

Kaploun, at the time a 35-year-old liaison between the Police and Fire departments and the Orthodox Jewish community, as well as a part-time Hatzolah Ambulance volunteer, was told that the analyzed portions of his shirt collar revealed an extremely toxic concentration of chrysotile asbestos - 93,000 times higher than the average typically found in the environment in U.S. cities. That appears to be even higher than what the EPA said was found in the most contaminated building after 9/11, reports the Post.

The shirt was also found to be contaminated with zinc, mercury, antimony, barium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead and molybdenum, which are just some of the heavy metals that burned in the fires that lasted for nearly four months after the attacks.

In early April, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 62% of the individuals caught in the dust cloud of the fallen towers were suffering respiratory problems. In addition, 46% of those who lived or worked in the area (but avoided the dust cloud) also reported consistent respiratory illnesses.

Though these numbers are staggering, they are sure to worsen as many asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, take 10-40 years to surface. That means, in the next 5 to 10 years, New York City could be facing a serious health crisis.

Visit http://www.asbestos-post.com for current asbestos and mesothelioma news as well as a dedicated asbestos RSS feed.

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Steve Rinaldi
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