New York, NY – Half a million responders and people working, living, and studying in Lower Manhattan on and after 9/11 were exposed to Ground Zero toxins, dramatically increasing their risk of developing 68 types of cancer and many respiratory illnesses.

Michael Barasch.

But Lower Manhattan was not the only area in New York City where the toxins were present.

The exposure zone where Ground Zero toxins were found also included the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island and the New York City Mortuary (the morgue) at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where thousands of union members were involved in recovery operations.

After 9/11, more than 1.6 million tons of debris from the World Trade Center site were transported to Fresh Kills by sanitation workers and investigated by detectives and forensic evidence specialists – nearly all of them union members.

At the New York City Mortuary, a team of medical examiners worked tirelessly to identify 22,000 body parts painstakingly recovered from wreckage after the attacks.

These workers joined union leadership to lobby Congress to create the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), providing free, comprehensive medical care for 9/11-related illnesses and tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.

Yet today, all too many of the people exposed to Ground Zero toxins at Fresh Kills and the morgue have not registered with the WTC Health Program and the 9/11 VCF.

We have a duty to inform them about their right to access health care and compensation.

If you were in any of the Ground Zero exposure zones, you are eligible to register with the WTC Health Program and the 9/11 VCF – even if you are currently healthy.

Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, which represents 30,000 members of the 9/11 community, has proudly advocated for union members for more than twenty-five years.

Visit or call 800-314-0683 today.


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