NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Eighteen years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, a new outreach is underway with the target being students from schools in lower Manhattan.
Students and teachers in downtown Manhattan schools after 9/11 were unsuspecting of the lingering effects from the toxic World Trade Center dust cloud, containing asbestos, pulverized concrete, heavy metals and more.
Now, the Department of Education is reaching out to 19,000 former students and thousands of teachers and warning them of potential health risks and the federal programs available to help.
Former Stuyvesant High School student Lila Nordstrom told WCBS 880 that she’s seen the impact of the toxins firsthand, beginning with breathing and digestive problems.
“We're also seeing an increasing number of cancer among our classmates. We actually just had classmate earlier this year who passed away of a 9/11 linked cancer,” Nordstrom said.
The DOE is hoping to reach every student that may have been affected in the wake of 9/11 with letters that will urge them to register with the World Trade Center Health Program and Victims Compensation Fund.
All students and teachers from schools south of Houston Street are being contacted. The recognized exposure zone is south of Canal Street.
An estimated 400,000 people who lived, worked and went to school in lower Manhattan were exposed to toxins.