The World Trade Center attack has not only claimed lives, but also affected the health of babies whose mothers were near the collapse of the Twin Towers.
According a study posted in the National Bureau of Economic Research, the events that unfolded on 9/11 “released a million tons of toxic dust into lower Manhattan, an unparalleled environmental disaster.” The study was conducted by Janet Currie and Hannes Schwandt of Princeton University, and is currently on working development mode.
The study’s abstract describes the results of the initial investigation. “Using all births in utero on 9/11 in NYC and comparing them to their siblings, we show that residence in the affected area increased prematurity, low birth weight, and admission to the NICU after birth, especially for boys.”
The entire world bore witness to the Twin Towers’ destruction, where a huge dust cloud emerged from the collapsed structures. Various reports have revealed that the cloud unleashed massive amounts of asbestos, gypsum, cement dust, lead, and glass fragments. Aside from earlier reports that the dusty environment triggered asthma and respiratory complications in emergency response staff and nearby residents, this new study infers that the toxic fumes have also affected the health of pregnant mothers and their babies.
As reported in a news release, the study suggests that premature deliveries doubled in number due to the mothers’ exposure to the dust. Meanwhile, low birth weight as a result of the catastrophe increased by 5 percent, and NICU admission by 7.6 percent.
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