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1984 document shows EPA’s concerns about cancer risk from Sterigenics plant

WILLOWBROOK, Ill. (December 20, 2018) – A document has emerged that shows the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has known about the cancer risk from the Willowbrook Sterigenics plant for decades.

Though safer, alternative methods exist, the Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook uses the chemical ethylene oxide (or eTo) for medical sterilization. Back in August, residents were notified that the carcinogenic emissions from the plant posed a potentially elevated cancer risk to at least 19,000 residents living nearby.

This week, a letter from the IEPA dated July 6, 1984 emerged, detailing concerns the agency had about the plant’s emissions.

Following the release of the letter, the IEPA released the following statement:

Our records from nearly 35 years ago indicate that before national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESAP) was adopted for ethylene oxide, the agency identified the issue, raised it with the source and ultimately required installation of controls.

Last week, environmental regulators from the DuPage County Health Department and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency collected water samples from a total of 70 residential wells within one mile of the Sterigenics facility. The samples will be sent to a certified laboratory to test for levels of ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol.

Stay tuned to salvilaw.com for Sterigenics news updates.

If you believe that you or a loved one has developed cancer or other health problems due to breathing ethylene oxide emitted by Sterigenics, the attorneys of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. can help you. Call or reach us online today to discuss your potential claim with our Sterigenics legal team.

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