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Earth: 9/11's lingering effects: Tracking the long-term impact of the dust

Alexandria, VA Five days after the Twin Towers collapsed, two geoscientists boarded a plane from Denver to New York City. They were part of a team that would use remote sensing techniques to categorize the hazards that might affect the rescue workers, civilians and survivors of the terrorist attacks. One of their immediate tasks involved identifying long-burning fires under the rubble. A second was to create a compositional profile of the debris cloud that resulted from the devastation. Part of the project was to be completed immediately using remote sensing, part would take several months and part is still continuing today.

As EARTH explores in "When the Dust Settles" in the September issue, over the past 10 years, geoscientists have been studying the World Trade Center dust to determine if and how that dust may have caused long-term health problems for survivors and first responders.

Read whether the scientists have found a link between the dust components and first responders' health problems, and read other stories on topics such as how scientists are getting creative in determining past earthquake activity; how NASA's Glory satellite crashed shortly after launch, dashing the hopes of many climate scientists; , and how the ash from Mount Vesuvius is still revealing secrets about the active volcano in the September issue. And don't miss the story commemorating the 150th anniversary of the discovery of Archaeopteryx.


Contact: Megan Sever
American Geological Institute

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