One of the most unforgettable, heart-breaking, and deadliest terrorist acts in history was the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City. A total of 2,996 people died, including 19 hijackers from the Al Qaeda terrorist group that was responsible for the attack. In addition, 6,000 people were injured and an estimated $10 billion in infrastructure damage was recorded.
Thousands of victims and their families are still suffering from the post-traumatic effects of the tragedy. Even firefighters and law enforcement personnel who responded during the tragedy were also affected. In this article, you’ll learn more about the collective post-trauma, stress, and long-term health risks that were brought about by the 9/11 attacks.
1. Cancer Risk
The 9/11 attacks posed cancer risks to thousands of residents, workers, students, and even guests and visitors of the city when the World Trade Center was attacked. This article explains that thousands of people in New York have been diagnosed with different kinds of cancer that were linked as an after-effect of the 9/11 tragedy.
Experts said that dust from the collapsed buildings contained more than 2,500 contaminants. For this reason, people exposed to the toxic dust and polluted air after the attacks are at high risk for developing the following types of cancer:
- Thyroid cancer
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lymphoid cancer
- Skin cancer
- Cancer impacting the eyes
2. Collective Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The tragedy and aftermath of the 9/11 attacks have caused thousands of people to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This includes persons who were indirectly exposed to the tragedy, or those who witnessed the event through news and media coverage.
3. GERD, Asthma, And Depression
Aside from cancer, another study has found more medical conditions that are linked as an after-effect of the 9/11 attack. This includes gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, and depression. GERD and depression are seen to be caused by the immense stress and trauma after the incident.
Asthma, on the other hand, is another effect of the air pollution that followed after the attack. The debris from fallen infrastructure has sent pieces of non-fibrous material, glass, asbestos, lead, and mercury into the air.
4. Social, Political, And Economic Disruptions
The New York Times reported that New York City practically shut down on the day of the attack. This has caused the closure of lower Manhattan, forced evacuations of thousands of people, shutting down of subway lines, and crippled cellular phone services.
Aside from that, airports were closed and trading was suspended. Children were kept in schools because their parents were stranded and were unable to fetch them. Many people were brought to hospitals for suffering second-degree burns. Emergency entrances were lined with stretchers, carrying the unfortunate victims of the tragedy.
These socio-economic disruptions have affected the global economy. Since New York City and the World Trade Center is an economic powerhouse; global markets recorded a huge decline within just one day. Small businesses in the Manhattan area were also affected. Thousands of people also lost their jobs and source of income.
The 9/11 attacks caused post-trauma to thousands of people who experienced and witnessed the tragic terrorist attack of the WTC on September 11, 2001. It resulted in physical injuries, medical conditions, and psychological trauma—especially to direct victims who personally witnessed the horrific events, sustained bodily injuries, or were exposed to air pollutants long after the incident. The social and economic impacts of the tragedy also made a dent in the global market.
While New York has long since recovered from the socio-economic impacts of the tragedy, many people are still experiencing medical conditions that were linked to the attack. This includes cancer and asthma, which are caused by toxic contaminants that were released into the air after the collapse of the twin towers and damage to nearby infrastructure.