City of Dust
Illness, Arrogance and 9/11Book - 2011
Discusses the governmental mismanagement of the air pollution resulting from the collapse of the World Trade Center, questioning why little was done to protect rescue workers.
In City of Dust, Anthony DePalma offers the first full accounting of one of the gravest environmental catastrophes in United States history. The destruction on 9/11 of two of the world's largest buildings unleashed a vortex of dust and ash that blotted out the sun and has distorted science, medicine and public policy ever since. The likely dangers of 9/11's massive dust cloud were evident from the beginning, yet thousands chose not to see. Why? As the sickening results of exposure became evident, many still refused to recognize them. Why? The consequences are still being tallied in the wasted bodies and disrupted lives of thousands who gave their all when the need was greatest, but whose demands for justice have been consumed by years of politics and courtroom maneuvers. Why?, separating reality from myth - and doing so with exceptional literary style and grace. DePalma covered Ground Zero for The New York Times for four years. DePalma introduces heroic firefighters, dedicated doctors and scientists, obsessive city officials, partisan politicians, aggressive lawyers, and compassionate judges and reveals the individual decisions that destroyed public trust, and the desperate attempts made to rebuild it. The dust that was the World Trade Center has changed everything it touched. This is the story of that dust, the 9/11 disaster after the disaster, and what it tells us about ourselves and our future.
"Part chronicle of tragedy and heroism, part detective story, and part legal thriller, this book offers a comprehensive and fearless account of the environmental aftermath of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center and the public health consequences of the worst environmental disaster in New York City's history."-Eric A. Goldstein, New York City Environment Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council
"City of Dust delivers what is so often missing from 9/11 coverageùdeep, careful, clear, fair reporting that separates fact from fiction. But DePalma also rouses the reader to indignation over the shortcomings of a system that, nearly a decade after the collapse of the World Trade Center, still hasn't done right by responders and residents whose health was destroyed by the poisons they breathed."-Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One
"For anyone concerned about the long-term health effects of 9/1lùor for that matter about the bungled handling of disasters in generalùthis book is essential. Thoroughly researched, written, passionate, its the final word on what should be done and should not be done."-John Darnton, author of Black and White the and Dead All Over and Neanderthal
"After 9/11 when the truth was shockingly hard to come by DePalma never settled. With careful reporting and masterful storytelling, City of Dust is the essential guide across the hearth contested terrain of environmental safety and medical care for those who served at Ground Zero. Lies are toxic. This book is the antidote."-Jim Dwyer, author, with Kevin Flynn, of 102 Minutes: The Untold story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Toners
"The most complete account of 9/11 and its aftermath yet written, City of Dust is a must-read for anyone involved in emergency preparedness and response or in environmental safety and health, for students of government and politics, or for the general reader who wants to understand more about the tragic aftermath of 9/11. Although DePalmas subject is a difficult one, City of Dust weaves stories about responders' heroic actions on 9/11, the persisting human health caused by their response work, government decision-making then and now, medical detective work, and court cases into a very compelling and readable book."-John Howard, M.D., Coordinator, World Trade Center Health Program, U.S. Department of health and Human Services
On 9/11, the destruction of the World Trade Center unleashed a vortex of dust and ash that blotted out the sunùand has distorted science, medicine, and public policy ever since.
The likely dangers of 9/11's massive dust cloud were evident from the beginning, yet thousands chose not to see, even as the sickening results of exposure became increasingly difficult to ignore. Why? And why have years of politics and courtroom maneuvers delayed 'Justice for those who gave their all when the need was greatest?
Anthony DePalma goes beyond his front-page coverage of ground zero in The New York Times, offering the first full accounting of one of the gravest environmental catastrophes in U.S. history. He separates myth from reality...reveals the decisions that destroyed public trust...shares powerful, never-before-told stories of the victims and those who've tried to help them...and helps us make sore this never happens again.
They Said The Air Was Safe
The health myths and realities of 9/11ùand the fear that followed
"This Smells Different. It Tastes Different"
The firefighters who couldn't breathe, and the doctors who treated them
Sound Bites, Arrogance, Scorn, And Invective
New Yorkers versus the political and legal system
A Comprehensive Look At What Lies Ahead
'The ongoing impact for the thousands who were directly affected, and lessons for the future