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EPA March test results show lower levels of ethylene oxide since closure of Willowbrook Sterigenics plant

CHICAGO (April 29, 2019) – Levels of ethylene oxide remained relatively low last month in Willowbrook and other nearby suburbs following the February closure of the Sterigenics plant, new test results from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, average concentrations detected at eight monitoring locations were between 55 percent and 97 percent lower before the sterilization plant was  shut down. No spikes of the carcinogenic gas were detected during the month of March.

During a webinar Friday, the associate director for policy at the EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards said the data suggests “the sterilization facilities are responsible for a significant amount of ethylene oxide in the area.”

The EPA is continuing to conduct more detailed evaluation of cancer risks in Willowbrook and the surrounding area and promises to release the report before a community meeting in late May.


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