The World Trade Center which was being built in 1971 had construction plans changed when New York City banned the use of asbestos in buildings. At that point construction of the World Trade Center was near the 64th floor of the twin towers. Thirty years before the September 11 attack it was prophetically suggested by the inventor of the wet asbestos fireproofing spray, that if there ever was a fire above the 64th floor the buildings could collapse. On February 13, 1975 there was a fire on the 11th floor of the World Trade Center North Tower which was put out within a few hours. The Asbestos industry took credit for the outcome in the advertisement shown above about the benefits of asbestos in buildings. When many years later the twin towers of the World Trade Center came down, after terrorist hijackers crashed planes into the upper floors on September 11, 2001, Lower Manhattan was filled with toxic dust and many people had major asbestos exposure.
September 11 rescuers, survivors and occupants of the area have suffered from asbestos exposure and illnesses from inhaling the asbestos and other toxins in the air. In addition to the fine asbestos powder which landed on September 11 the Boston Globe reported on September 14, 2001 that one test sample taken of the air in the vicinity of ground zero contained 4% asbestos which is four times the legal limit of 1% at which point it is considered unsafe. Cranes and bulldozers working in the area for clean up, continuously disturbed the asbestos dust for months. Many people will in time develop Asbestosis or worse, Mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, which can only be caused by asbestos exposure.
Most large buildings up until the late 1970s were constructed with asbestos for safety reasons. The World Trade Center was opened April 4, 1973 and was filled with asbestos. That is how buildings were built. Not anymore. There is no asbestos in buildings built today but people continue to live, work and attend school in asbestos filled older buildings every day. Asbestos exposure is still an everyday occurrence in Canada and the USA. The greatest danger from asbestos exposure comes when it is disturbed and released in the air to be breathed in by people in the vicinity. There are many lessons to be learned from the construction and the September 11, 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center.