Mesothelioma 9/11 Victims Likely to be Left Behind by Compensation Fund, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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As the deadline to register for the government’s Victim Compensation Fund for people made sick by the 9/11 attacks gets closer, many mesothelioma victims are likely to miss out on the benefits.

For these 9/11 victims, the October 3, 2016 deadline will come much too soon.

As Surviving Mesothelioma reports, October 3, 2013 is the deadline for first responders, victims, and people who lived in Manhattan at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to register for compensation, as long as they got sick before October 3, 2011. People who contracted cancer or another covered illness after that date have two years from the date of their diagnosis to register. Those who have not sought compensation from the fund by October 3, 2016 will lose their eligibility.

Unfortunately, this policy is likely to exclude almost all of the people who have yet to contract mesothelioma in the wake of 9/11. The Twin Towers contained an estimated 400 tons of asbestos, the once-popular fibrous building material that is the primary cause of mesothelioma. When the buildings fell, much of Manhattan was engulfed in a cloud of dust and debris full of asbestos and other toxins, putting thousands of people at risk for mesothelioma and other illnesses.

But mesothelioma has one of the longest latency periods of any cancer. People who inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers at Ground Zero may not develop mesothelioma symptoms for another 20, 30, or even 40 years. For these 9/11 victims, the October 3, 2016 deadline will come much too soon.

Mesothelioma was not among the illnesses on the original list of those included in the Victim Compensation Fund. On the advice of medical experts who confirmed the high mesothelioma risk at the scene of the fallen buildings, this rare cancer was added to the list in June, 2012. Although there have been hundreds of cases of other illnesses, ranging from cancer to emphysema to depression, there have been only two mesothelioma deaths attributed to 9/11.

Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive cancer with no known cure. It attacks the lining around the lungs, causing coughing, chest pain and fatigue, and eventually preventing the lungs from expanding normally during inhalation. Most mesothelioma patients die of the illness within 12 to 18 months of diagnosis. More information on the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, including the upcoming registration deadlines, can be found at

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Michael Ellis
Cancer Monthy
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