09/11/2014 07:33 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

16 Sobering Numbers That Remind Us To Honor The Sacrifice Of 9/11 Responders

JUSTIN LANE via Getty Images

Thirteen years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, some first responders and rescue workers are still waiting to receive proper care and compensation. From increased rates of cancer and other diseases to a continued failure by lawmakers to pass clear legislation to manage benefits, their burden has mounted with time, as new studies detail the toxic environments they rushed into.

As Americans move forward and look back this Sept. 11, let's remember the sacrifice of those who put their lives on the line that day.


The number of first responders killed on Sept. 11, 2001. Personnel responding to the attack on the Pentagon and to the downed plane in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, all survived.


The number of responders exposed to the highly toxic dust from the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers. It contained asbestos, glass shards, cement and other toxins.


The number of first responders injured.

911 first responder

Firefighters make their way over the ruins and through clouds of smoke at the World Trade Center in New York. Many of the first responders and those who labored at the site in the months following the attacks suffer from respiratory ailments.


The number of materials in each particle of dust from the destroyed towers.


The number of liters of jet fuel combusted in the attack, contributing to the dust cloud.


The pH level of destroyed concrete, which accounted for two-thirds of the total mass of World Trade Center dust. In comparison, ammonia's pH level is 11. In 2006, Environmental Protection Agency scientist Cate Jenkins said dust created by the attack was "as caustic and alkaline as Drano."

911 firefighters

A firefighter holds a shovel as he walks through the rubble in the aftermath of the Sept.11 attacks.


The number of rescue workers, including firefighters and EMT personnel, who have cancer.


How much more likely first responders are to be diagnosed with cancer than the general public, according to a federally sponsored study of almost 21,000 World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers.


How much more likely first responders are to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer than the general public.


How much more likely first responders are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than the general public. Prostate cancer was not covered under the Zadroga Act, which provides testing and treatment for first responders, until last year.


The number of first responders who have died from health complications stemming from their work at Ground Zero, since Sept. 11, 2001, according to estimates.

911 cancer

In 2006, FDNY firefighter John McNamara stands outside Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer he contracted Sept. 11. (Photo by Robert Sabo/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


The number of years it took for the first sick responders to begin receiving payments for health compensation.


The total number of complete registrations submitted to the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund as of Sept. 8, 2014, according to a program report. At least 91 people from the Pentagon and Shanksville sites also applied to the fund, according to federal officials in 2013. Would-be claimants are required to register for the fund in order to apply for benefits, and applications are reviewed rigorously.


The number of applications for compensation that had been paid, as of Sept. 8, 2014. The mean amount of these payments is $267,915.72.


The number of years until the Zadroga Act expires, unless lawmakers extend the law, which provides health care and compensation to both responders and survivors.

911 firefighters

Christine Gonda places a picture of firefighter George Cain at the engraving of his name at the South Pool, during anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2012, in New York.


The approximate number of service dogs that assisted in the search and rescue operation. They would later help in uncovering victims' belongings, such as jewelry, to be returned to victims' families. Studies have indicated that dogs, unlike their human handlers, have not shown signs of any significant health issues from their work.

911 dogs

Moxie and her handler, Mark Aliberti, arrived at the World Trade Center on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, and searched the site for eight days.



Retrieved: Photo Series Of 9/11 Search And Rescue Dogs