Environment & Health

The environmental and health impact of 9/11 is separate from the issue of government complicity, but it does illustrate the blatant deception and lack of concern from a government that is supposed to protect us.

Officials such as EPA head Christine Todd-Whitman and Mayor Giuliani assured residents, office workers, and first responders that the air was safe to breathe. It wasn’t, and scores of sick people are beginning to demand justice.

Orders were handed down from the White House to lie to New Yorkers in order to reopen Wall Street and minimize the financial toll of 9/11.

There has been very limited federal support for those affected by 9/11 related illnesses.


  • EPA press releases starting on September 13 were all deceptively reassuring about the safety of the air in lower Manhattan and other affected areas.

  • “The towers contained approximately 50,000 computers each made with four to twelve pounds of lead and this does not take into account the five other buildings that were destroyed. The tens of thousands of fluorescent light bulbs each contained enough mercury to contaminate a quarter of a city block.”1

  • “PCBs reached 75,000 times their previous record: [“PCBs were detected at high concentrations. The Toxic Equivalency (TEQ)… is 151pg/L. In previous harbor work…the highest observed PCB TEQ was 0.002pg.L.” EPA Report, September 20, quoted in Fallout Gonzalez, Juan] The smoke detectors contained radioactive americium 241. ( EPA Policy Analyst Hugh Kaufman ) In early October, 2001, Dr. Thomas Cahill of the University of Davis at California found levels of very- and ultrafine particulates that were the highest he’d seen of 7000 samples taken around the world including at the burning Kuwaiti oil fields. Months after the disaster the EPA recorded hitherto unseen levels of dioxin . ” 1

  • “The city’s air and water are safe..”
    –Christie Todd Whitman (head of the EPA), September 14, 2001

  • “I’m glad to reassure the people of New York that their air is safe to breathe.”
    –Christie Todd Whitman September 18, 2001

  • Based on White House influence, “reassuring information was added to at least one press release and cautionary information was deleted.”

  • According to a 2006 Mount Sinai Hospital Study:
    Almost 70 percent of World Trade Center responders had new or worsened lung symptoms during or after the attacks. Among responders who had no health symptoms before the attacks, 61 percent developed lung symptoms while working on the toxic pile.

  • The alkalinity of the air was equivalent to that of liquid drain cleaner.

  • Police officer James Zadroga was the first widely reported 9/11 health related casualty. There are sure to be many to follow.