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9/11 Asthma & COPD in September 11th Survivors

The attack on the World Trade Center filled the New York City sky with a cloud of dust of contaminants and polluted the air. Survivors spent months exposed to toxins in the air that made it difficult to breathe. If you or a loved one suffers from respiratory illnesses related to exposure from September, especially 9/11 COPD or 9/11 asthma claims, contact the law firm of Pitta & Baione LLP to discuss your potential benefits under the Victim Compensation Fund.

Common Respiratory Illnesses in World Trade Center Survivors 

Respiratory illnesses are a common medical concern. Some respiratory illnesses are the result of viruses or bacteria spread from person to person, and others are aggravated by environmental conditions. Some conditions are recurring, which means they happen over and over again. Other conditions are chronic, which means they never really go away. In addition to respiratory illnesses, there are many cancers eligible for benefits under the Victim Compensation Fund, including cancers of the respiratory system. 

Listed below are some respiratory illnesses and cancers that 9/11 survivors may suffer from:

Chronic Bronchitis 

Bronchitis is an illness of inflamed air passageways in the lungs. Bronchitis can be a short-term or long-term illness. The inflammation associated with bronchitis can be caused by dust, allergens, or other toxins in the 9/11 dust cloud. 

Chronic Pneumonia 

Pneumonia is a respiratory illness caused by either a virus or bacteria. Often, another underlying illness will cause pneumonia to develop in the body, so multiple illnesses will need to be treated to relieve symptoms. Common symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing, muscle ache, headache, and fatigue. Pneumonia viruses are contagious and can transmit easily in crowded areas. 

9/11 Asthma Claims 

Asthma comes in many varieties. Most commonly, asthma symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Asthma can be related to allergies and other non-critical conditions. Sometimes irritants such as chemicals and dust can cause asthma to develop or make current asthma worse. Working around these irritants when asthma develops or worsens may qualify this asthma as occupational asthma. September 11th rescue and recovery workers were certainly exposed to chemicals, dust, and toxins during recovery efforts that may have resulted in occupational asthma. Thus, those with a 9/11 asthma claim should strongly consider contacting our law firm. 

Our Attorneys Also Fight for Those with 9/11 COPD Claims 

Many people suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). September 11th survivors were exposed to elements contributing to COPD, like smoke, fire, fumes, and contaminated air during and after the World Trade Center attacks. COPD has a number of common symptoms, but they do not resolve easily or for long, which is why this is a chronic condition. Symptoms of COPD include:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up mucus
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Additional infections and illnesses of the respiratory system
  • Additional illnesses and conditions impacting other organs and body systems due to not enough oxygen getting through the body.

As a result of COPD, many people experience a reduced ability to care for themselves as the disease progresses due to fatigue and mobility issues. Exercise is recommended for COPD sufferers, but many cannot exercise as planned due to breathing problems. Many 9/11 COPD patients are put on oxygen and receive medication to help with breathing, restore oxygen to the body, and relieve discomfort when possible.

Infections of the Respiratory Tract

Respiratory tract infections can be viral or bacterial in nature. These infections are categorized based on the location within the respiratory tract, either the upper respiratory tract or lower respiratory tract. Symptoms of respiratory tract infections include difficulty breathing, congestion, body aches, and fatigue, in addition to coughing. Respiratory infections can develop from other illnesses, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and common colds. People with weakened immune systems, lung disease, or heart disease are more susceptible to respiratory tract infections.

Complications of Respiratory Conditions

Respiratory illnesses affect a person’s ability to breathe, which can lead to additional health complications. These complications include respiratory arrest, in which the lungs stop functioning; respiratory failure, which increases the carbon dioxide in the blood due to lungs not functioning correctly, so that there is not enough oxygen in the blood; and congestive heart failure.

Treatment for Respiratory Illnesses such as 9/11 Asthma or 9/11 COPD

Treatments for respiratory illnesses depend on the type of illness and the symptoms of the patient. If the patient has recurring bacterial infections in the respiratory tract, antibiotics may be prescribed to kill the infection, but a virus does not respond to antibiotics. Rather, treatment of symptoms may be more appropriate. 

Many people with breathing issues that are associated with respiratory illness will be prescribed an inhaler, or anti-inflammatory medication to reduce inflammation in the lungs and airways to allow air to pass more easily. Some patients may need supplemental oxygen to ensure their body is getting enough to support function.

Reducing exposure to irritants may help some people avoid respiratory illnesses. Avoiding smoke, dust, and other environmental or occupational risk factors for respiratory illness can help prevent a worsening of chronic conditions, or development of new conditions due to already weakened respiratory systems. Some 9/11 survivors require continual monitoring of their respiratory illness and must take care to isolate when there are other diseases being spread so they do not suffer a more severe respiratory illness as a complication of their current illness.

Contact a September 11th Attorney to Discuss Your Eligibility for 9/11 Asthma or 9/11 COPD Claim 

If you or a loved one suffer from a respiratory illness such as 9/11 asthma or COPD  related to exposure from September 11th, contact an attorney at Pitta & Baione by completing our online contact form or calling us at 844-982-2667.

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From our initial phone call, we felt extremely confident in Pitta & Baione LLP. handling our 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund claim. Their expertise and familiarity with the 9/11 VCF claims process was evident in all that they did to help us with all aspects of our claim. We consistently felt their commitment to us and we continue to consider them a valued and trusted source of support.

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Christopher Baione is the Partner at the firm who assisted me with my legal needs. During a very difficult time in my life he was very patient, listened to my concerns, always had time to answer my questions and was available via phone or email. I hope to not need to call him again, but if I do, he will be the attorney I will be visiting. Excellent attorney. 5 stars from me

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I thank you for your amazing services, very professional, dad and I were very pleased... we appreciate Mr Matthew Baione very much and staff... we need good people like them to have a better world.


The firm is very professional, in particular the two Baione brothers. The staff that I had and conversations with were pleasant and very cordial. Most of all I was never confused on what was needed from me regarding my case. They have worked as speedy as I could have wished in helping me with my case. Good Group keep up the good work.

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