Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2005 Aug;47(8):817-25. [Link]

Nolan RP, Ross M, Nord GL, Axten CW, Osleeb JP, Domnin SG, Price B, Wilson R.

Center for Applied Studies of the Environment & Earth and Environmental Sciences of the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, NY 10016, USA.


Objective: We sought to estimate the lifetime risk of asbestos-related cancer for residents of Lower Manhattan attributable to asbestos released into the air by the 9/11 attack on New York City’s World Trade Center (WTC).

Methods: Exposure was estimated from available data and reasoned projections based on these data. Cancer risk was assessed using an asbestos risk model that differentiates asbestos fiber-types and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s model that does not differentiate fiber-types and combines mesothelioma and lung cancer risks.

Results: The upper limit for the expected number of asbestos-related cancers is less than one case over the lifetime of the population for the risk model that is specific for fiber-types and 12 asbestos-related cancers with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s model.

Conclusions: The cancer risk associated with asbestos exposures for residents of Lower Manhattan resulting from the collapse of the WTC is negligible.