Is nuclear radiation responsible for the ill health of 9/11 responders?

One the great tragedies resulting from the Sept 11, 2001 attack on the WTC towers in New York City was the plight of the heroic rescue workers who saved thousands of lives on that day. A study published last month found that about 20% of the 14,000 responders have suffered permanent lung damage.

Researchers measured the lung function of about 92 percent of the almost 14,000 New York City firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) workers who responded to Ground Zero in the wake of the terrorist attacks.

In the year after their exposure to such pollutants as burning jet fuel and pulverized building materials, firefighters and EMS workers experienced a steep drop in average lung function. Non-smoking firefighters were especially hard hit, according to the study in the April 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

About 18 percent of firefighters who had never smoked had abnormal lung function for their age after one year, compared to 3 percent prior to the exposure. Among EMS workers, 22 percent had abnormal lung function after one year, compared to 12 percent prior to exposure, according to the study. 

The blame has been placed on 'toxic dust' clouds which engulfed the area surrounding the towers. While there is little question that particulate matter such as pulverized concrete impacted the health of those who were standing in the blast radius of the falling towers, the huge number of responders who contracted illnesses including rare cancer types suggest circumstances more akin to those who survived the nuclear blasts in Japan.

The fact that 8,500 recovery workers have already banded together to sue... with 400 total cancer patients among their number—leads many experts to predict that these figures are likely to grow, meaning a possible death toll in the thousands.

In many ways, these illnesses suggest the slow but deteriorating health issues that faced the atomic-bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where thousands died in the years and decades that followed the United States' use of nuclear weapons.

But how does this comparison make any sense? After all, we know that the city of New York was hit with planes, not a nuclear missile. Well, it turns out that one of the dirty little secrets of the 9/11 terror attack was that the passenger planes may have contained a large quantity of depleted uranium.

The recent crash of a Boeing 747 in Halifax, Canada, raises a number of questions about the use of depleted uranium (DU) in airplanes, public health concerns and the 9-11 attacks.  When a Boeing 747 crashed and burned on takeoff at Halifax International Airport in Nova Scotia, Canada, on Oct. 14, an official accident investigator said the aircraft probably contained radioactive depleted uranium.

Bill Fowler, an investigator with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said the plane was likely equipped with DU as counterweights in its wings and rudder.

“A 747 may contain as much as 1,500 kilograms [3,300 lbs.] of the material,” the Canadian Press reported.

This little-known fact explains a great number of anomalies present in the analysis of how the towers fell. One of the common questions that has puzzled many independent observers was how jet fuel, which burns in open air at about 300 deg C, was able to comprimise the integrity of steel, which melts at 1,000 deg C. The presence of depleted uranium settles this conundrum.

In 1988, American physicist Robert L. Parker wrote that in the worst-case scenario, the crash of a Boeing 747 could affect the health of 250,000 people through exposure to uranium oxide particles. “Extended tests by the Navy and NASA showed that the temperature of the fireball in a plane crash can reach 1,200 degrees Celsius. Such temperatures are high enough to cause very rapid oxidation of depleted uranium,” he wrote.

Another riddle presented in analyzing the events is how the planes were able to penetrate the steel walls of the towers. They cut through not only the outside grid but the entire length of the building and the opposite wall all in a fraction of a second.





With a density of more than 2x that of steel, depleted uranium makes a potent weapon, slicing through tanks and armor like butter. For this reason it is coveted by the American military and is credited with the swift victory in Operation Desert Storm.

On the "Highway of Death," 11 miles north of the Kuwait border, a collection of tanks, armored personnel carriers and other military vehicles are rusting in the desert.

They also are radiating nuclear energy.

In 1991, the United States and its Persian Gulf War allies blasted the vehicles with armor-piercing shells made of depleted uranium -- the first time such weapons had been used in warfare -- as the Iraqis retreated from Kuwait. The devastating results gave the highway its name.

According to Rudy Giuliani, the fires raged at ground zero 'for a hundred days' after the towers were hit. The presence of a high-energy compound such as DU helps explain how this was sustained long after the jet fuel would have been gone and how the health of so many 9/11 responders was devastated.

Tags: 9/11, rescue workers, radiation, cancer, Depleted Uranium (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

Everything I have found

so far, says that Boeing has used DU in 747s but not in 757s and 767s (which were used in 9/11)

by kevin22262 2010-05-17 10:54PM | 0 recs
Here is some interesting info

that seems to debunk some of this.

"DU counterweights have been used primarily in wide-body aircraft on rudders, outboard ailerons (wing assembly), and outboard elevators (tail assembly).

http://www.andersoncompositesquadron.org/composite-manufacturing/some-jet-aircraft-eg-md-use-depleted-uranium-as-counterweights-is-this-an-acceptable-risk-for-passengers

and this...

All materials weaken with increasing temperature and steel is no exception. Strength loss for steel is generally accepted to begin at about 300ºC and increases rapidly after 400ºC, by 550ºC steel retains about 60% of its room temperature yield strength. This is usually considered to be the failure temperature for structural steel.

http://www.azobuild.com/details.asp?ArticleID=3621

Now think of the damage done by a plane moving at 500 MPH+ into a building with no internal structural pillars except for the inner core (for elevators, stairs, etc.  The structure was carried on the outer skin of the buildings.  Add to that a fire fueled by a plane full of fuel and the contents of the building.  Now add the immense weight on top of this damaged area.

I don't buy this DU story.

by kevin22262 2010-05-17 11:41PM | 0 recs
Jet fuel doesn't burn above 300 deg C
If anything, you have reinforced my argument. Since jet fuel only burns at 288 deg C in open air, then there must have been another material present (such as depleted uranium) which caused the fire to reach at least 550 deg C.
by IndepEnergy 2010-05-18 12:22AM | 0 recs
Aluminum is 3x lighter than steel
There is a good reason that bullets are made from lead, and planes from aluminum. That is because while lead is a dense metal (11 g / cm^3), aluminum (2.7 g /cm^3) is light enough to float on air. Try penetrating anything, let alone steel, with a disposable aluminum tray. It doesn't matter that the plane was going 500 mph. The World Trade Center weighed 1,000,000,000 pounds and was moving at 1000 mph (the rotational speed of earth). The passenger plane weighed at most 250,000 pounds, only a small fraction of which was carried at its contact point (the nose). It should have crumpled like a piece of aluminum foil.
by IndepEnergy 2010-05-18 02:11AM | 0 recs
I also like this

No matter what some may think of NIST, the info is compelling and backed up with facts.

http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm

by kevin22262 2010-05-18 12:11AM | 0 recs

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