The Impact of September 11 on America

The Impact of September 11 on America

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One of the major areas 9/11 had effects on was health. Right after the towers were hit, thousands upon thousands of poisonous toxins and debris were shot into the air. These toxins contained almost 2,500 pollutants. The main contents which made up the killer cloud are as follows, 50% non-fibrous material and construction fragments; 40% glass and other fibers; 9.2% cellulose; and 0.8% of the enormously toxic carcinogen (Health Effects Arising from the 9/11 Attacks). A carcinogen is any substance or radiation that is directly involved in causing cancer. (Wikipedia, Carcinogen) Since cancer causing impurities were shot out into the atmosphere, the residents and emergency workers of Lower Manhattan, New York City were at great risk of getting cancer. It was reported the poisonous gases travelled all the way to nearby Chinatown (Wikipedia, September 11 Attacks).
Survivors have reported what they saw and experienced after the towers were hit. This is what Officer David Lim said after the North Tower was hit, “The impact had sparked a massive fire on the top floors and shot a fireball, fed by fuel, down a bank of elevators that flashed and burned on various levels all the way to the basement”. 32-year old paramedic Charles Sereika said, “Wow, it looks like a snowstorm, only gray instead of white, the streets were covered with ash, dust, and paper” (Heroes of 9/11, Zullo, pg. 36, 102).
CNN covers a story of a New York City police officer who was diagnosed with cancer after he responded to the 9/11 attacks. Reggie Hilair was a cop who worked in the area of the World Trade Center. He with his comrades worked for 11 days at the site of the attacks. For two months between 2001 and 2002 the police officer was enclosed by dust. In 2005, Reggie was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He was also diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that reproduces your body's plasma cells to very high levels. Also, with Multiple Myeloma it is known that collections of nonstandard plasma cells collect in the bone marrow, where they interfere with the construction of normal blood cells. Multiple myeloma is usually a disease that older people get, and Reggie was only 34.
It has been said that there are about 1,100 people living or working near the World Trade Center who have developed cancer in one way or another. In September of 2012 health officials added 58 new types of cancer to the list of diseases survivors have gotten since the day of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

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Studies went on to show that about 19% of the firefighters at ground zero were likely to get cancer. (CNN, More than 1,100 have cancer after 9/11, CNN staff).
The health effects did not only apply to emergency workers, but also to people not directly exposed to the poisonous toxins which polluted ground zero. These people were residents, students, and workers of New York City. Only a few deaths have been linked to the actual ash and dust which spewed forth from the towers, but there were many people who were hurt from the ash. (Wikipedia, September 11 Attacks). Approximately 18,000 people have developed certain illnesses from the toxic dust. Some of the illnesses include prostrate cancer, thyroid cancer, and multiple myeloma. The ash is also known to help activate the deterioration of the kidney, heart, liver and nervous system (Health Effects Arising from the 9/11 Attacks).

Although the attacks had the most health effects in New York City, they did have effects on the health of the whole American population. Events such as the 9/11, which are gruesome and horrible, have been proven to make people feel physiological emotions like fear, helplessness, and horror. It has also been proven that the firemen, policemen, EMTs, doctors, and volunteers all showed signs of stress either at the time of the attacks, or even in years afterward. Traumatic events such as these attacks have been known to cause post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), general anxiety disorder (GAD), substance abuse, and depression (NYC, 9/11 Health).
Individuals who lost family members or friends on 9/11 felt some of the health effects tied in with the attacks. Many have confessed that they felt gloomy, frightened, withdrawn, and depressed. There was a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center which went to show that more than half of all American adults experienced one or more of the health effects listed above, this shows another way the American people have felt the effects of 9/11 (Newsweek, Health Resource Center).
A journal from Psych Central was written about some tests conducted by Pelman et Al. These tests were aimed at all the mental health effects related to the 9/11 attacks. Even though the attacks happened in two different areas, the whole entire United States was affected. The tests which were taken three to five days after the attacks showed that about half of the U.S. people felt stress after 9/11. This test, like others, showed that humans felt mental health effects such as fear, and insecurity after the September 11, 2001 attacks (Psych Central).
Another effect the WTC attacks had was on the economy of the United States. The attacks themselves resulted in $40 billion dollars worth of insurance loss, making it one of the biggest insured events in history. The economic drop started with the crashing of the stock market. On the day of the attacks, the stock market did not open and remained closed for nearly a week. After it did reopen on the 17th of September, it fell a record setting 684 points, or 7.1%. By the end of the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, had fallen 1,369.7 points or 14.3 % (Wikipedia, September 11 Attacks).
Just three months after the attacks, there were a total of about 430,000 jobs lost in New York City alone. The city’s GDP or Gross Domestic Product suffered heavily from the bombings. In only fifteen months it was documented that the city lost approximately $27.3 billion dollars. To help support and cope with the immediate enormous losses after the attacks, the United States government donated $11.2 billion to the government of New York City, and in 2002 it donated another $10.5 billion.
Another area of New York which was economically affected was the small business establishments in Lower Manhattan. Approximately 18,000 offices were destroyed, which resulted in many jobs being lost. Help was provided to help the businesses get back on their feet. Small Business Administrative loans, Community Development Block Grants, and Economic Injury Disaster Loan all came to the aid of the small businesses that were destroyed literally or economically in the attacks (Wikipedia, September 11 Attacks).
According to Wikipedia the attacks also had an economic effect on the United States Airlines industry (Wikipedia, September 11 Attacks). The North American Air space was closed for two days after the attacks and during that time only military, police, and medical planes flew. This led to a 20% reduction in the volume of air travel, also making worse the financial problems of the United States airlines (Wikipedia, Closing and Cancellations following the September 11 Attacks).
Before 9/11 the price of gas was approximately $1.53 a gallon. Before the strikes, in Texas, the price of a barrel of gasoline was $27.66, afterward, the price of a barrel of gasoline had risen 7% to $29.59. Since that dreadful day, the price of gas has continued to rise. Nine years later, in Pacifica, California, on September 11, 2010, the price of gas was $3.97 per gallon. Over the span of ten years, the price of gas has gone up to approximately $3.00 per gallon. The price of gold has also taken a good jump as well. Before the attacks, an ounce of gold was $271.50. Ten years later, the price of an ounce of gold had risen to $1,549.50-$1,821. In just ten years, the price of an ounce of gold had risen over 600% (MSN Money).
Some people believe the gas prices today are still an effect from the events of 9/11 and the United States’ relationship with the Middle East (Wiki Answers).
One of the largest areas the September 11 attacks had effects on was on security. The security of air flight, airports, and coastlands were all affected. Before the attacks, airport body screening devices were not readily available, and if wanted the screeners would have to be bought by the airport through a private retailer. After the attacks, the TSA or the Transportation Security Administration was made to provide screeners and operate them.
One of the main reasons the terrorist attack succeeded is that the hijackers were able to get into the cockpit, kill the pilot and copilot, and then run the planes into the World Trade Center. If the doors of the cockpit had been closed and locked, then the day of September 11, 2001 would not be remembered as it is today. The TSA realized these facts and started to make necessary changes to the cockpits of social airliners. Today, almost all cockpit doors are now bulletproof and lockable. These improvements help protect the pilot in case of an assault, and also help give him or her a sense of security. Some planes are also equipped with cameras that allow the pilot to see what the passengers are doing behind them. Pilots with licenses are allowed to carry guns with them in case of an attack on the cabin (Wikipedia, Airport security repercussions due to the September 11 attacks).
There have been many other changes in airport security. Today you must remove your shoes at certain stations, all your baggage has to go through an x-ray type of machine, there is a certain amount of liquids you can carry onto the plane, full-body screening is enforced, metal and electronic items must be removed and you have to put them through the screener, your jackets must be removed, you must have a personal ID that matches your ticket and so on. All of these changes have had many effects on the people of the U.S. either for the good or the bad (FareCompare, 9 Ways Security Has Changed Since 9/11).
September 11, it could have been a normal day; when everybody went to work and came back, safe and sound. But it wasn’t. It was a day that terrorists decided to wreak havoc on the American people. The terrorists did not go unpunished; shortly after, President Bush declared war on terrorism, and eventually, terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was killed by marines. The attacks which took place on September 11, 2001 had many effects on the economy, security, and health of the United States. The American people will never forget the day terrorists flew American Airlines flight 11and United Airlines flight 175 into the World Trade Center.




Works Cited

Wikipedia: September 11 Attacks
Wikipedia: Health Effects arising from the September 11 Attacks
Wikipedia: Carcinogen
Wikipedia: Closings and Cancellations following the September 11 Attacks
Wikipedia: Economic effects arising from the September 11 Attacks
Wikipedia: Airport security repercussions due to the September 11 attacks
CNN More than 1,100 have cancer after 9/11
NYC Resources: 9/11 Health
Newsweek Health Resource Center
Psych Central
Msn Money
Wiki Answers
Heroes of 9/11 pg. 36
Heroes of 9/11 pg. 102
FareCompare, 9 ways security has changed since 9/11

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