David J. LeValley, an FBI special agent who served following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, died of complications from being exposed to contaminants at the World Trade Center Ground Zero site.
He spent several weeks at Ground Zero and was exposed to many contaminants, according to an FBI press release, adding that he died “in the line of duty as a direct result of his work” there.
“Mr. LeValley entered on duty as a Special Agent with the FBI in 1996 and was assigned to the New York Division. He was called to serve his country following the attacks on 9/11 at the World Trade Center where he spent several weeks being exposed to many contaminants. Dave died in the line of duty as a direct result of his work at the World Trade Center,” the statement from the agency said.
“(His) death is a great loss to the entire FBI, but particularly to his family, the FBI Atlanta Division, and the Atlanta community. We are honored to have served beside him and are grateful for his leadership and sacrifice,” it added.
A number of first responders during the 9/11 attacks have suffered adverse health effects from being exposed to toxic substances emitting from the site. Hundreds of carcinogenic substances, such as burning jet fuel, asbestos, lead, mercury, and fibrous gas filled the air in the aftermath of the attacks.
Lee Clarke, who is the Chairperson for the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH), said in 2017 that more than 5,700 survivors currently have cancer, The Hill reported.
“First night I was there I was walking there and I took pictures. My eyes were burning, man the smell was unbearable. That’s all the ash, and it’s like papers flying in front of you that you can actually touch,” first responder Ken George told PBS of his experience at Ground Zero.
He added: “I worked at a blacksmith shop, welding shop, I ripped up the roads, I did everything, everything, and I was perfect. Now I can’t do anything, nothing at all. I can’t breathe. I know my life is cut short big time.”
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