Study: 9/11 WTC dust sickened residents years later

A study blames long-term sickness on 9/11 dust from the World Trade Center. These shoes were found nearby days after 9/11.
May 22nd, 2012
11:30 AM ET
Comments (83 comments)

Study: 9/11 WTC dust sickened residents years later
Several years after dust from the World Trade Center twin towers found its way into thousands of homes and nearly every crevice in lower Manhattan, area residents still suffered health problems, according to a new study.

People living in homes damaged after 2001's Trade Center attacks were more likely to report respiratory illness or disease years later, when compared with people whose homes were not damaged, according to a recent analysis of World Trade Center Health Registry data.

"This study highlights the magnitude of the 9/11 attacks by showing that people exposed to dust in their homes continued to have respiratory problems even five to six years after the fact," said study author Dr. Vinicius Antao, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, in a press release.

Breathing problems most often reported by residents post-9/11 included upper respiratory problems such as shortness of breath, wheezing and chronic cough. Less frequently, residents reported asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which can cause progressive deterioration of lung function.

About 41% of residents surveyed say they had either "some" or "intense" exposure to the 9/11 dust cloud, according to the study abstract, which will be presented Wednesday at the American Thoracic Society annual meeting.

"The folks who had higher exposures certainly would be more likely to develop disease," said Dr. Jacqueline Moline, director of the Queens World Trade Center Clinical Center of Excellence. "It's also noteworthy that 59% were not in the dust cloud. So you didn't have to be in the dust cloud for there to be these problems."

Among the 6,463 residents included in the study, more than half reported upper respiratory problems. About 16% had shortness of breath; 11% reported wheezing; and 8% had asthma symptoms that either developed or got worse after exposure to dust.

The WTCHR monitors the health of 71,000 rescue/recovery workers and residents exposed to the World Trade Center disaster. Data are being collected in waves. The first wave covered the first two to three years after 9/11; the second covers the fifth and sixth years following the attack.

Analysis will continue in waves to find out if respiratory illnesses persist and whether proximity to ground zero affects the severity of illness.

"It will also be important to use the results to improve guidance about returning to residences and other locations after a major terrorist or natural event," said an e-mail from Paul Lioy, an environmental health expert and deputy director at Rutgers University's Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute.

Persistent respiratory problems are commonly associated with 9/11 responders, such as police officers and firemen, and less often with residents whose homes were coated in dust.

"The take-home message is really that household exposure to this type of dust... is capable of causing disease," said Moline. "Household exposures can be important to health outcomes, and they are often overlooked."

Post by: Stephanie Smith -CNN Medical Producer
Filed under: Environment • Pollution • Toxic America
We recommend

Four die on Mount Everest CNN International
Army: Death of soldier who died during Skype session with wife is under investigation CNN US
Stars without makeup: Plain Janes or plain brilliant? CNN Entertainment
CNN’s GUT CHECK for April 26, 2012 CNN Political Ticker
Obama's gay marriage support riles religious conservatives, but political effects not yet clear Religion
Bachmann endorses Romney CNN Political Ticker
From around the web

When is the Best Time to Retire? Day One Stories
Obama’s Secret White House Exposed in New Book
10 Worst Cities for Singles Kiplinger
Tragic Irony: Teen Dies While Texting The Dangers Of Texting And Driving AOL Autos
10 Tips For Living Frugally Can Do Finance
Scientists Sound Alarm: ‘Aliens in Antarctica’ TakePart
[what's this]
Next entry »
Personalized genetic testing not recommended
« Previous entry
Task force: PSA tests do more harm than good
soundoff (83 Responses)
But Christie Whitman said the air was fit to breathe, and Rudy echoed her. Isn't the government supposed to protect the citizenry?

May 22, 2012 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
What if those who planned and finandically supported the attack on NY also had a plan to distort the truth, plant false ideas, divert attention from themselves and foment more trouble. How could they or how would they go about doing that?

May 23, 2012 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
Funny how a supposedly gravity-driven collapse could produce such a massive and persistent cloud of such fine dust. What's up with that?

May 22, 2012 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
Dear Jimulacrum,

You are an idiot.

May 22, 2012 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
That wasn't very nice. I was only making an observation.

I'll tell you what. Get a few thousand tons of steel-reinforced concrete, a few hundred gallons of kerosene, and an assortment of office furniture and miscellaneous building materials. If you can pulverize even 50% of the concrete using only these materials and gravity, I will give you a cookie.

Two cookies if you can manage to corrode an entire nearby car within the same day.

May 22, 2012 at 22:13 | Report abuse |
Patrick: the government has been lying and covering things up, systematically, for the last century. The media is in on the lies also. Distrusting the government does not make a person an idiot.

May 22, 2012 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
Now, now, I'm sure Patrick has fully logical explanations for all the physical phenomena of that day, none of which rely on made-up data, magic, or argumentum ad populum.

May 22, 2012 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
You forgot to add two projectiles travelling at 500 miles per hour igniting a fireball so intense that it melts steel. And don't forget two 100+ stories if buildings whose structural steel was coated witlown concrete for fire protection. He may be rude but Patrick is not wrong.

May 22, 2012 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
Sora, do me a favor and read this function:

f(x) = 452 – 4.9x^2

Now describe the meaning of its x- and y-intercepts, rate of change over the interval within Quadrant I, and general shape.

If you can do this on your own, then maybe I'll entertain your throwing around of numbers. No cheating.

May 22, 2012 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
The steel did not melt, it was weakened. No scientist, not even the schlock scientists you listen to, deny that. So knock it off with the "steel doesnt melt from kerosene" nonsense. Add that to the destroyed supports and you have a simple matter of gravity bringing down the house. But dont listen to that common sense...rather, think it was more plausible that a shadow group of ninjas hid bombs inside walls with nobody noticing and then devised a precision choreographed event. yep, thats much easier than flying planes into buildings. Its time to wake up and realize what you have been wishing for didnt happen. Making 9/11 something it wasnt because you cant handle the truth is insanity.

May 23, 2012 at 00:20 | Report abuse |
I didn't mention anything about whether kerosene fires can melt steel. I didn't mention anything about ninjas, bombs, or choreography either. If you want to address the issue I actually raised, by all means, do so, but don't put words in my mouth.

May 23, 2012 at 00:51 | Report abuse |
The issue you actually raised? You didn't raise any issues at all. You made a whole bunch of sarcastic implications and now you're chastising people for addressing what you were obviously alluding to? If we only address the issues you openly and explicitly stated then all we have left is an 8th grade math problem.

May 23, 2012 at 09:05 | Report abuse |
That was actually a 9th grade math problem, but I guess it depends on where you go to school. And I put the math problem there because sora was trying to big-numberize an issue he/she clearly doesn't understand (as indicated by "a fireball so intense that it melts steel").

I wasn't alluding to anything; people inferred what they wanted to infer so that they'd have straw men (or ninjas) to shoot down. I wondered out loud how gravitational force could be responsible for creating such a massive, persistent cloud of dust from the given inputs. So far, not a single negative commenter has bothered to even try to address that issue.

May 23, 2012 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
Here I'll address the issue for ya.

You're so butt hurt over George W. Bush that you actually believe that government pulled off only the largest and most intricate conspiracy of all time, and are willing to completely over look and actual evidence and believe the biased and completely swiss cheese concepts on Fahrenheit 911.

What you are is a sucker.

May 23, 2012 at 09:40 | Report abuse |
Bush is a bad man; very few people disagree about that. He's done quite enough without destroying the World Trade Center, and frankly, I don't think he did it anyway. He abused the event to achieve certain goals, yes, but I doubt he was a player in the plot.

Furthermore, I didn't say any of what you're attributing to me. I watched Fahrenheit 911 forever ago, and I don't remember anything about it except that it was a Michael Moore movie. You're putting words in my mouth. Stop it. Go find someone who actually said these things, and argue with him.

May 23, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
Well, it was good knowing you, Jim..;-)

May 23, 2012 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
Thanks, but I think I'll be OK. On the other hand, it looks like there are a lot of poor, defenseless straw men in danger here.

May 23, 2012 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
I'm not looking for an arguement but the odds against three gigantic buildings collapsing in an identical manner the way bldg. 7 and the towers did. Well, you'd have better luck hitting Mega Lotto twice in the same hour. And don't say no conspiracy (I myself don't think there was one) but 20,000 people worked on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs and no one knew till they were dropped. Just a hell of a coincidence in the matter of the trade center.. Five Ninety Five Lexington ave. N.Y. had a MAJOR structural flaw that was fixed at night (many nights)without anyone but the owners of the bldg knowing. Keeping sonething like that a secret is possible.

May 23, 2012 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
This is really my whole point. All the "conspiracy theory" stuff is a distraction; anyone claiming to know all the conspirators is wrong. Just like any half-decent police work, finding the perpetrators should come after analyzing all of the evidence carefully.

My major problem with all of it is that the manner of collapse of those three buildings did not make sense given the supposed causes. Every explanation I've heard—especially the prevailing explanations—has relied on either nonsense or has addressed ONLY the possible causes of collapse initiation, excluding the natures of the collapses. I can buy that the Twin Towers would experience catastrophic failure; it's an odd thing, but I can buy it. What I can't buy is both of them being obliterated in the way they were, not to mention the other oddities (rapid oxidation of nearby metal objects being chief among the oddities).

And WTC 7…let's just say that if a building of that type could collapse like that from fire and acute damage, I would never set foot in a major city again.

May 23, 2012 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
The first responders are still sick and dying and the government still denies their problems and requests for help with their health care which are a direct result of the WTC tragedy.

May 22, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
Yeah but what should be done? Acknowledging one means you have to honor all claims. I agree it's wrong though. But it's the same the same with Fukushima, Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome, Asbestos....Humans just have to start to take care of each other and their well being. Will never happen as long as there is a profit to be made.

May 22, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse |
the government can't help anybody,period,that's a DEM. yourself.

May 23, 2012 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
Many people refused to wear the protective masks. It's such a shame....

May 22, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
Refused? My husband was a first responder and he was never offered a mask. So, you are mistaken.

May 22, 2012 at 16:14 | Report abuse |
My father was down there and was offered a mask. He also had to go for hourly checks to make sure he was breathing properly. He refused as did many of the men there at the time. Their main goal in the fist 72 hours was to search for people. He felt he didn't have time to waste doing these checks while people could still be alive.

He is paying for this today.

May 22, 2012 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
Kent in Dallas TX
Instead of blaming good Americans such as Rudy Guliani & Christie Whitman, we should blame the real degenerats lifeforms who caused it all.

Osama bin Laden & his religious fanatic followers planned & directed the attacks.

Personally I hold bin Laden responsible for all suffering.

The Navy Seals who killed bin Laden are real-life superheros & I am glad that they all came back alive & unharmed.

Anyone who wanted the Seals to let him surrender is crazy.

Anyone who wants Kalid Shaik Mohamed & Abu Z. tried in a civil court is crazy or hopelessly stupid.

However, don't even consider executing any of them; they want to die so they will be "martyrs." Keep them all locked in Guantanimo Bay for they rest of their lives.

May 22, 2012 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
Rudy Guliania a "good American??" ha ha ha You MUST be from TX to believe that. If you're from NYC, you know all about his crooked character.

May 22, 2012 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
Excuse me? You think it is perfectly okay for the Governement agency that is supposed to be honest with the american people about the dangers in the environment to give press conferences and blatantly lie about the air quality? That lie costs untold hundreds, perhaps in the future, thousands of serious sicknesses and death.

And the people responsible FOR LYING have never apologized or been held accountable. Whitman went on to have political career. How does she sleep?

Of course those of us who actually live here and did then this is not some abstract political football. This is our lives.

BTW Guiliani is detested by the firefighters of NYC. As well as most of the NYC residents. Look into why.

May 23, 2012 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
Anita Bongtoke
Jimulacrum... ignore Patrick

Yes it is funny how a gravity collapse produced such fine fine fine dust that blanketed lower Manhattan. Dont forget in about 10 seconds each tower came down, supposedly pancaking yet we dont see 40 stories of pancaked floors...

Never mind WTC 7.. no jet.. minimal fires... obtaining freefall as it fell 47 stories.. in its footprint..

May 22, 2012 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita, the Fire Dept. in N.Y. will tell you no bldg. has ever collapsed from fire damage. The towers had help from the planes but bldg.7.. Strange. And all three to fall in on their own foundation. WOW.

May 23, 2012 at 11:42 | Report abuse |
Dave, WTC 7 was damaged by the North Tower during its collapse. As for no building ever collapsing from fires, that is not true. In 1967, The McCormick Center (which was steel framed just like all three Towers) in Chicago collapsed only thirty minutes after the start of a small electrical fire. Also, the Sight and Sound Theater in Pennsylvania collapsed due to fire in 1997.

May 23, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
Kent in Dallas TX
Let's all blame the monsters who caused all the death & suffering. (I refuse to call them "bad guys" because they don't deserved to be considered human beings.)

Let's all quit blaming people, such as Rudy Guliani & Christie Whitman, did the best they could do with a the worst catastrophe in American history.


May 22, 2012 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
I'm not sure how accurate this is. I was originally from the countryside. I moved into Manhattan and experienced 9/11 in person. Yes, I developed a lot of respiratory ailments (can't breathe well, developed allergy asthma, etc...).

However, once I moved out of NYC, all of that slowly went away. I'm now in perfect health again.

I think it's the regular particulate pollution that gives such high rates of respiratory disorders. My friend's father moved out of NYC before 9/11 and when he moved all of his respiratory problems disappeared too... and he was old... 70.

May 22, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
Darius Aidala
Christie Whitman did tell all of us New Yorkers that the air was clean to breath even though we all knew it coulndt be safe. We knew she lied then and yes Guilliani lied too. The air wasn't safe then and everyone knew it.

May 22, 2012 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
Kent in Dallas TX
@Anita & Jumulacrum,

It is all very simple. The explosion & fire didn't leave enough left of the towers to pancake.

If you lived in a 3 or 4 story house and a jet airplane crashed on your building (God forbid), there wouldn't be enough left to tell how many floors the
building had.

When Pan Am 103 blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland, some of the people killed in Lockerbie weren't buried because tbere wasn't anything left to bury.

May 22, 2012 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita Bongtoke
Kent... there was some 80 floors underneath the impact zones of both towers.... was that not enough, and seeing that the towers fell through the path of greatest resistance with no resistance should raise flags, no? The towers were 110 stories, not 3 or 4 so your analogy fails.

Care to tell me and the rest of the readers Kent, how the furthest building in the complex WTC 7 came down? It was a 47 story building, Guilianis bunker, many govt agencies housed there, NOT hit by a jet, no jet fuel, isolated fires... yet it came down that afternoon..

Not only did it come down, it came down at freefall speed. Freefall speed means that there was NO resistance to the mass above, all supports failed at the exact moment.. does isolated pockets of fire create this type of failure? NIST has admited it fell at freefall speed.. again every single supporting column MUST FAIL at the same instance for this to occur...


Archtiects & Engineers for 911 Truth.. is your friend.

May 22, 2012 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
Anita Spellcheck
You had me at Archtiects...

May 22, 2012 at 17:15 | Report abuse |
why did these buildings fall in their foot print? why did building 7 fall as with controlled demolition? these buildings were steel and concrete. jet fuel will not burn hot enough to melt steel.

May 22, 2012 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
Kent, you are aware how many floors were in the Towers, aren't you? Not exactly the same as a 4-story family home.

May 23, 2012 at 10:31 | Report abuse |
Don't forget, the air also contained 2,000 atomized people. I worked on an after 911 project and this is something they don't talk about too often. But the human debris caused a lot of health damage to lungs for sure!

May 22, 2012 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
This is true. I sometimes tell people about the stench of burning people from that day, and people who weren't there rarely believe me because it's so rarely talked about.

May 23, 2012 at 02:28 | Report abuse |
I work in Manhattan and live in Brooklyn. I can remember that stench, off and on, for months. Burning chemicals and human remains and... whatever. I'll never forget that. I did go down to "the pile" that first Saturday after the disaster just to bear witness I guess. No mask. Knock on wood, no breathing problems either since then.

As for conspiracy theories, while I can't stand the President and his administration of that time I don't believe it. But one of the two events Bush and Whitman should be brought up for charges on is letting people go back to Wall Street and work that quickly. The other is ALLOWING the attack to happen in the first place – they were warned by Clinton, CIA, etc., etc. and did NOTHING to protect us.

May 23, 2012 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
The people part was the acrid smell in the air for weeks.

May 23, 2012 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
Anita Bongtoke
Spellcheck... didnt know the spelling pigs were out today... good contribution to the posts though..insightful and rivoting..

ARCHITECTS... is that better?

May 22, 2012 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita, I hate that these facts are simply brushed off by the government. I've often said the government should be sued in some friendly jurisdiction just to get the facts on record. We in America can look over to the Russian apartment bombings and say, "Oh, they're killing their own people to falsely justify war." Yet, many of us are too naive to believe they'd do it here. Trust me, intelligence agencies are evil the world over.

May 23, 2012 at 11:07 | Report abuse |
Well, considering your moniker, and the fact that you called a random person on the Interwebs a pig while spouting conspiracy theories, I would think you are harming your argument more than helping it. Just saying.

May 22, 2012 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita Bongtoke
What Conspiracy theory am I spouting? Fact Towers were 110 stories, fact they were pulverized to dust falling through the path of greatest resistance, fact WTC7 fell, no plane impact, isolated fires, into its footprint at freefall speed and NIST now admits it obtained freefall speed. This could only happen if each support failed at the exact same moment...

Where is the conspiracy? like 19 men and 1 cave dweller conspired to pull this off, I offered no theory.. just the facts.

just saying.....

May 22, 2012 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
Your entire post to me is a conspiracy theory. You have made the hypothesis that the Towers did not fall based on the plane crashes alone, and you are using evidence to support your hypothesis. True, you might need a few more tests if it were truly scientific, but when your data points to accepting your hypothesis rather than rejecting it, then you move into the theory stage. So, you are not stating facts; you are arranging those facts into a theory, which involves a conspiracy, hence conspiracy theory. And, I'm sorry, but you could show me proof, but with a name like "bongtoke" I would be hard pressed to believe it. Oh, look! It is 4:20.

May 22, 2012 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
I don't believe we have been given the true story and I do believe more than just planes took those towers down.

May 22, 2012 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
Of course we weren't. And of course more than planes took the towers down. It astonishes me that anyone still believes that nonsense about the destruction of the buildings being purely gravity-driven. I saw through it within a couple months, after the trauma wore off. Clearly, most of the people who cling to that tale are still traumatized, or else they wouldn't be so defensive and obstinate about it.

May 22, 2012 at 22:26 | Report abuse |
Of course it was more than just the planes. If only the planes were responsible, they would have collapsed immediately following the impacts. In reality, it was the combination of the impacts and the post-crash fires.

May 23, 2012 at 14:39 | Report abuse |
Portland tony
Of course, health experts knew there would be residual problems because of the dust. But you can't close NYC down. That would have given bin Laden more to brag about. Worrying about why and what brought those buildings down is a fools errand. Bad as the "grassy knoll" conspiracy folk. But everybody gotta worry about something .......

May 22, 2012 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita Bongtoke
Building 7 Tony????????

May 23, 2012 at 11:34 | Report abuse |

May 22, 2012 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
common sense.....
I'm a suburbanite... I only went to uptown manhattan (harlem) about 3 weeks after 9/11. The air was AWFUL. Felt like I was inhaling glass... and that was far from ground zero and weeks later. Anyone breathing that in had to know it was unsafe. The first responders didn't care... they were sacrificing themselves for others. The locals must have known it was hazardous... The gov't lied because likely because they had no plan to effectively evacuate manhattan for a couple months.

May 22, 2012 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
Portland tony
And that's the truth folks!

May 22, 2012 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
I remember the same thing. Even months later, a gentle northward wind would bring that smell all the way back up to 14th Street, a couple miles away. I have never smelled anything like it in my life, and I can die happy without ever smelling it again.

I still want to know what that smell was.

May 22, 2012 at 22:24 | Report abuse |
Carlos Simones
Daniel 2:44, Revelation 11:18 – The answers are all there, and you haven't seen anything yet. Things are going to get worse come sumer 2012.

May 23, 2012 at 07:11 | Report abuse | Reply
"Dust" that's a much nicer word than "asbestos".

May 23, 2012 at 07:39 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita Bongtoke
Anon.... you are an idiot no where in any post did I present a theory, can you show me or are you just spouting nonsense? Where did I theorize anything.. I presented facts, no theory.

Fact Anon.. no plane hit WTC 7, Fact Anon, it fell atfreefall speed at 5:20 that afternoon.

Fact Anon, I did not present any theory

Fact you need to look up the definition of the phrase conspiracy theory so you understand the meaning. You then will be able to clearly see I didnt no present any theory.

Move along..

May 23, 2012 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
I do apologize that you don't understand the concept of constucting a theory, as you are doing it again and claiming you are not. Perhaps you are the one who should familiarize yourself with definitions, since you have done nothing to disprove my theory. And I thank you, your internet ire is amusing and this has been a great lesson for my students.

May 23, 2012 at 10:14 | Report abuse |
No plane hit WTC 7, but this is very misleading since the North Tower did hit it when it collapsed. As for the speed of WTC 7's collapse, again you are being misleading since you suggest that its entire collapse occurred in a free-fall when only 2.2 of its over 15 second collapse time was actually in free-fall.

May 23, 2012 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
Jimulacrum, the smell you were smelling was probably the smell of, I hate even thinking let alone saying it, decaying bodies. I have smell a decaying body and it is something you will never forget. Something you never want to smell again. As for the how or why the towers came down, they did, it is over, we have to forever remember the ones who died that day. When you are trying to save someone you don't always think of safety for yourself or if you health will be in jeopardy later in life, you just jump in and do your best to help. So lets lay the theories and facts that will never be proven, to rest. Let's just pray for the ones who are now suffering because of health problems supposedly caused from the event, and pray for the families and friends of those that died that terrible day.

May 23, 2012 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita Bongtoke
So Mary ask no questions? Just get over the murder of nearly 3K Americans that day and move on? You know victims family members are asking questions, shouldnt we owe it to the dead to find out what really happened that day?

May 23, 2012 at 09:55 | Report abuse |
Anita, asking questions that will never really be answered. No, we will never get over the murder of our loved ones, and we do owe it to the deceased to ask questions, but reality has proved time and time again that if the Government does not want to answer them then we are no further ahead. Did all the questions get answered when President John Kennedy, or Senator Robert Kennedy were murdered? NO!!! And sorry to say they won't now either. I feel for everyone involved, but until the government takes responsibility and HONESTLY answers the questions being asked, we will never really know how or why the towers came down the way they did. Oh, we know about the planes, but you can't tell me that the government, with all their high tech people did not detect this was going to happen. The found Bin Laden, they found Saddam Hussein, so why couldn't they detect this before it happened.

May 23, 2012 at 10:11 | Report abuse |
No disrespect, Mary, but don't delude yourself into thinking that praying and refusing to pursue facts will help anyone. It might help you feel better, but that's it. If that's all you're out to accomplish, fine, but leave other people to pursue the real information as well. This event isn't just a part of the past; public officials who helped cover it up are still in power in various capacities. It could happen again tomorrow. This cannot stand.

And I doubt that odor was solely burning bodies. When I went down there that October, that's what I thought it was because of what had just happened. I was reeling from the event and had death on my mind. But I was still smelling it months later from miles away, and it still had that acrid, metallic quality to it. I could almost taste it. I would be very, very surprised to learn that burning human flesh produces that smell.

May 23, 2012 at 19:57 | Report abuse |
Is that why they banned smoking ? what a joke

May 23, 2012 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
On 9-11 I watched the towers fall on LIVE TV and I knew that something was odd because it appeared to go down in a freefall not as a pancake. When I saw it repeated on video and slowed down, it still seems impossible. If the upper floors burned through and completely melted, then what happened to the floors below the fire? My heart goes out to the families who will never know what truly happened to their loved ones, but no jet fuel could burn through ALL the steel supports and pulverized so much of the buildings.

May 23, 2012 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita Bongtoke
Mary, I think this crime needs to have questions asked, and pressure put on government to answer questions it is owed to those who died and those who continue to die to this very day. This event tripped our failed foreign policy misadventures culminating in the deaths of possibly 1 million people.

Remember WTC 7 was not hit by a plane, had isolated small office fires, yet came down in its footprint at freefall speed, meaning that every structural support had to fail at the exact moment. This is impossible unless there was some other phenomenon at play.

Continue to question... its our duty, government works for US supposedly.

May 23, 2012 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
Remember, WTC 7 was hit by the North Tower. It had large fires that burned, unfought, for over 8 hours. These fires were seen on floors 6-10, 13-14, 19-22, and 29-30. It did not collapse into its own footprint as it was able to damage structures that were across the street during its collapse. It was only in free-fall for 2.2 seconds of its over 15 second collapse.

May 23, 2012 at 14:49 | Report abuse |
So they lied about the air quality. No WAY they lied about anything else.

May 23, 2012 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
If you believed that the air was safe after 9/11 you probably also believe everything else you were fed by the media and crooked politicians regarding 9/11. WTC 7 fell with no impacts and a huge number of firemen and police reported explosions from under the towers just before the planes hit. Their testimony was barred from the report.

May 23, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita Bongtoke
Exactly... reports of explosions in both towers below collapse zones.. FDNY Oral history.... Squibs visible in the videos of the collpases... and oh yeah WTC 7 which the BBC 22 minutes before it collapsed, stated it collapsed while it was still standing in the background of the liveshot.... WTC7... no plane, no jet fuel, freefall implosion....

Molten steel for weeks.. Jet fuel doesnt burn hot enough to create molten steel... running like lava, like a foundry as FDNY reported..

May 23, 2012 at 11:32 | Report abuse |
Yeah! I bet it was the guys from the library and the grassy knoll. They blew up the towers with special "cement pulverizing" explosives! And the airplanes that were sticking out of the building were just props! You conspiracy theorists need to take a mental laxitive!

May 23, 2012 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita Bongtoke
Building 7?

May 23, 2012 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
So the heroes who ricked their lives that day are conspiracy theorists? You're a brainwashed m0r0n incapable of thought.

May 23, 2012 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
Anita Bongtoke
Anon, what is my theory I am constructing? I feel sorry for your "students" simply because one with a room temperature IQ really has little to offer.

Whats my theory? Tell me? I havent presented one...

May 23, 2012 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
Son of Adam, a concerned citizen
All the affected people should sue those involved in demolishing the three buildings on 9/11. There was carcinogenic asbestos in the dust besides other toxins. Do people realize there was a third building WTC-7 on 9/11 that "collapsed" as a result of "fires" produced by highly incendiary material in the building? The evidence of the incendiary material, nano-thermite, was found in the debris and dust from the buildings. To believe that OBL or KSM arranged for the explosive material to be planted and set off in the three buildings that demolished on 9/11 is almost as ridiculous as believing that God Almighty begot a son and sent him to be humiliated and crucified on earth as salvation for the sins of humans...and the 'son' wasn't even in on that plan. Wait, most Christians already believe in the son of God lie that defies common sense and evidence in the Scriptures. It's no wonder they and others like them believe in the fairy tale spun by the 9/11 Commission and NIST. We, the people ask the government for an official scientific investigation into the controlled demolitions of 9/11. According to president Obama, politics should not influence science. The evidence should be examined, and the real terrorists prosecuted. Larry Goldstein was the lease owner of the three buildings. Jeb Bush was on the board of directors until 2000 of the security firm Securacom/Stratesec that provided security for the three buildings. Rudy Guiliani was the mayor under whose orders/watch most of the evidence was quickly removed from the scene of the crime. These three would be the prime suspects. I'm not saying anything new here.

May 23, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita Bongtoke
Asylum31... WTC7 had minimal damage to the one side facing the towers, WTC 4, 5, 6 in the shadows of the towers, recieved the brunt of the debris, remained standing. WTC 7 had isolated fires on a couple floors. If we are to believe that the building fell due to the north tower debris, one would expect the building to fall to the side where there was structural damage. This did not occur, what happened was the building fell straight down, into its own footprint, falling through itself at FREEFALL speed. To obtain freefall speed, every singel supporting column of structural steel would need to fail at the exact instance provideing no support. Do isolated office fires act like this? No they do not...

Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth

May 23, 2012 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
WTC 7 had at least a ten story gash in the South side of the building (the side that faced the North Tower). Some firefighters at the scene reported that it might have been closer to 20. The Southwest corner of the building had damage that extended down from the 17th floor to the 7th. There was also damage on the South face between the 44th floor and the roof. That is not minimal damage.

It is quite interesting that you mention WTCs 4, 5, and 6 but you fail to mention WTC 3. Is it because WTC 3 was completely crushed by the collapses of 1 and 2? Also, I should mention that 4, 5, and 6 all caught fire and suffered partial collapses as a result of their proximity to 1 and 2. But because they were low-rise office buildings, they did not share the same construction style as 1, 2, and 7.

WTC 7 had large, visible fires on floors 6-10, 13-14, 19-22, and 29-30. If you count it up, that's 13 floors, which is over 25% of the building. And that doesn't account for any fires that might have occurred elsewhere in the building that were not seen. That is not isolated office fires.

The building does visibly lean to the south during its collapse.

I'd love to see your definition of footprint. Mine is this: a footprint is the exact same size and shape as the bottom of the foot that made it. So, when you say something like this "...what happened was the building fell straight down, into its own footprint..." it kind of baffles me, because during 7's collapse, it managed to damage a building that was across the street from it. Is that falling in its own footprint?

Since there was a partial internal collapse, which caused the East Mechanical Penthouse to collapse (the first visible sign of collapse in WTC 7) about 8 seconds before the rest of the building followed suit. It is possible that this cascaded to allow the failure of all support over a certain range of floors, which was then immediately followed by the collapse of the rest of the structure. This second part of the collapse lasted about seven seconds, the first two of which the building was in free-fall.

As I showed earlier, they were not isolated fires.

May 23, 2012 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
Anita Bongtoke
Asylum 2.2 seconds means it fell 100 feet through itself with no resistance at all. Isolated office fires do not cause that. Period.

All hail thermal expansion!!!

May 23, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
Anita Bongtoke
The laws of physics were broken that day and that day only... simply amazing. Those freedom hating cave dwellers are good.... really good.

May 23, 2012 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
No laws of physics were broken.

And your comment about the terrorists shows your ignorance. None of the hijackers had lived in caves and many of them had been to college. Also, they may have hoped that something like this had happened, but they did not plan for the buildings to come down. All they did was hijack airplanes and crash them into buildings. That was it. Everything else that followed was, well, physics.

May 23, 2012 at 18:49 | Report abuse |
Post a comment
Name: (required)
E-mail: (required, but will not be displayed)

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

From the article:

"'It will also be important to use the results to improve guidance about returning to residences and other locations after a major terrorist or natural event,' said an e-mail from Paul Lioy..."

I guess I'm wondering when the idea will hit the general public that gypsum and concrete dust from what is being billed as a gravitational collapse wouldn't cause long term respiratory illnesses or lung cancers. In the history of terrorist bombings and natural disasters which have brought down or exploded buildings and other structures, have we ever seen such a legacy of disease and terminal illness affecting the workers and residents of the affected areas? I don't think so, but someone correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm kind of hoping this, if nothing else, will finally start causing people to ask questions about what caused such toxicity in this dust that is supposedly merely the product of a natural (i.e. gravitational) building collapse. What caused the fine pulverization of so many toxic materials, and their intimate commingling into a fine powder in a way that has never been seen in any other natural disaster, building collapse or terrorist bombing? What is so special about the 9/11 events that has created this strange legacy of disease? When will people start asking these questions?

By the way, are you allowed

By the way, are you allowed to repost the article as a whole like that?