9/11 survivor known as ‘Dust Lady’ in iconic photo dies at 42

26 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

9/11 ‘Dust Lady’ Marcy Borders, featured in a haunting photo, has died of cancer.

When the World Trade Center’s South Tower collapsed, just before 10 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, photographer Stan Honda was in lower Manhattan, taking pictures of the incomprehensible scene. “There was a giant roar, like a train, and between the buildings I could see huge clouds of smoke and dust billowing out,” Honda recounted years later. “A woman came in completely covered in gray dust,” Honda recalled in 2011. “You could tell she was nicely dressed for work and for a second she stood in the lobby. The cancer death of Marcy Borders, a Bank of America worker who was the subject of a haunting photograph on 9/11, has drawn renewed attention to the illnesses suffered by many survivors of the attack.A survivor of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York who was featured in one of the most haunting photographs of the outrage has died of stomach cancer.

Hundreds of studies conducted in the 14 years since the terror attack show that thousands of first responders and people working and living in downtown Manhattan at the time have been diagnosed with mental and physical ailments related to the attack. But Borders became severely depressed and started smoking crack in the years after the attack, she said, before finally finding “peace of mind” after the death of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. “My mom fought an amazing battle,” Noelle Borders told the New York Post. “Not only is she the ‘Dust Lady’ but she is my hero and she will forever live through me.” A cousin wrote on Facebook that Borders “unfortunately succumbed to the diseases that [have] ridden her body since 9/11,” according to the Jersey Journal. “In addition to losing so many friends, coworkers, and colleagues on and after that tragic day, the pains from yesteryear [have] found a way to resurface,” John Borders wrote. “I’m saying to myself, ‘Did this thing ignite cancer cells in me?’” she told the Jersey Journal last year. “I definitely believe it because I haven’t had any illnesses. I can’t think about being there, in those targets, the bridges, the tunnels, the (subway) stations,” she told AFP in a whisper in a March 2012 interview. I don’t have high blood pressure … high cholesterol, diabetes.” Some types of cancers are among the illnesses covered by the Sept. 11 compensation fund, but it is unclear whether there is a link between the disease and the wreckage and debris left after the attacks. Researchers have called for continued monitoring of survivors and long-term analysis of medical conditions experienced by those people – in part because cancer can take much longer to develop than respiratory illness.

The air at Ground Zero contained pulverized concrete, shards of glass and carcinogens, according to a 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Residents of lower Manhattan filed a class action lawsuit in 2004 against the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Christine Whitman, accusing the agency of misleading people about the safety of the air around Ground Zero in the wake of the attack. The program initially excluded cancer, but was amended in 2012 after a push by politicians who said there was sufficient evidence to prove a connection between the attack and cancer. But when a Jersey Journal reporter asked last year if she ever looked at Honda’s photo, she said tried to avoid seeing herself as the “Dust Lady.” Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles.

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