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New York State Trooper Dies of Cancer Linked to 9-11 Toxic Exposure

Mar 29, 2017
NY State Trooper Dies of Cancer Linked to 9-11 Toxic Dust

A 12-year-old boy's touching farewell at his father's funeral was a heartbreaking reminder that lives are still being lost as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

At the funeral for his father, New York state trooper Brian S. Falb Sr., Brian Falb Jr. leaned over during the service to kiss his father's casket. The moment was captured by photographer Damian Battinelli at the March 20, 2017 funeral.

Brian Falb Sr. died from brain cancer, which was diagnosed in May 2016, the Albany Times Union reports that Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City certified Falb's illness as related to 9/11 through the World Trade Center Health Program. In September 2001 Falb was assigned to New York City to aid in the search and recovery efforts after the terror attacks brought down the World Trade Center twin towers.

Hundreds of police officers from around the country came to honor Falb, who spent his 18-year career with Troop B, based in Ray Brook, New York. Falb and his wife, Mary, had been married for 26 years and had four children. In addition to his work at ground zero, Falb had also been part of the 2015 manhunt for escaped convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat, the cleanup after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.

The day before Falb's death, New York Police Department officer Michael Hance, 44, also died of brain cancer, which was linked to his time at ground zero after September 11. Six other members of the NYPD and FDNY died in the same week as Falb and Hance from illnesses linked to toxic exposure at the World Trade Center site.

National law firm Parker Waichman notes that in addition to cancers, 9/11 survivors have suffered a range of illnesses, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); and mental health issues, including depression and anxiety disorder. The attorneys at Parker Waichman have worked with and for 9/11 victims in the years since the attacks to obtain health monitoring, care, and compensation.

9/11 Health Crisis

9/11 Health Crisis

The collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers in the September 11, 2001 attacks created a health crisis. First responders, rescue, recovery and cleanup workers, volunteers, and people who lived and worked in the community were exposed to a mixture of toxins released in the collapse of the twin towers. Some people became ill immediately with respiratory and other symptoms, but cancers and other illnesses emerged in the years following the attacks. Cancers, in particular, can take many years to time to develop. Toxic 9/11 exposures often contributed to worsening of other health problems.

The destruction of the twin towers and other buildings at the World Trade Center site on 9/11 produced a massive toxic dust cloud containing pulverized wood, paper, jet fuel, pulverized construction materials including asbestos, glass, silica, fiberglass, and concrete; organic chemicals; benzene, dioxin, lead and other metals. The dust, debris and the smoke from the burning rubble hovered over lower Manhattan, exposing rescue and recovery workers and people who lived and worked in the area to toxins, irritants, and and carcinogens.

In 2010, Congress passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, named for NYPD officer James Zadroga, who died in January 2006 from illness caused by toxic exposures at ground zero. The Zadroga Act provides health benefits and compensation to 9/11 responders and survivors who suffer illnesses and injuries from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The World Trade Center Health Program provides monitoring and care to thousands of responders and survivors. The Zadroga act was reauthorized in 2015, extending health benefits until 2090, to ensure that all people whose health was affected by 9/11 exposures receive the care they need.

Numerous Cancers Linked to 9/11 Toxic Exposures

Medical researchers have identified more than 50 types of cancer linked to the toxins (in particular prostate cancer, thyroid cancer and multiple myeloma. As of June 30, 2016, 5,441 people enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program had been diagnosed with 6,378 separate cancers, with some people suffering more than one type of cancer. Researchers say the 9/11 community is experiencing prostate and thyroid cancers, leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma at a significantly higher rate than expected in the general population. Health experts expect 9/11 cancers to continue to emerge for years to come.

Legal Help for Those with WTC-Related Health Conditions

If you or someone you know has developed cancer or another that may be linked to 9/11 toxic exposure, the attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP can offer a free, no obligation consultation on your right to compensation. To reach the firm, fill out the contact form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

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