Residents Near Willowbrook Sterigenics Had Higher Cancer Risk

Sterigenics front of building

Map of Willowbrook

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that residents living within a mile and a half of the Sterigenics plant in suburban Willowbrook had 10 times the risk of cancer than the agency deems acceptable. The facility was effectively shut down in February over emissions of ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic chemical used to sterilize medical instruments.

While the greatest area of risk was within one-third of Sterigenics, an elevated risk for residents remain for those up to one-and-a-half miles away.

"We would conclude that additional emissions reductions are necessary to reduce that level of risk," said Bill Wehrum, U.S. EPA.


What is Ethylene Oxide?

A flammable and highly reactive chemical, ethylene oxide is used by Sterigenics International as a sterilant for a wide range of medical equipment and supplies. The volatile substance has been on the federal list of human carcinogens since 1985. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), chronic exposure to ethylene oxide has been associated with the occurrence of:

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Birth defects and increased risk of miscarriage
  • Hodgkin’s Disease

Filing an Ethylene Oxide Lawsuit

Residents who are suffering with health issues due to exposure to ethylene oxide from the Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook can seek damages for:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability

Willowbrook residents facing serious health concerns, including increased risks of leukemia and other forms of cancers resulting from exposure to ethylene oxide by Sterigenics International, may be entitled to damages.

Call the personal injury law offices of Cooney & Conway toll free at 800-322-5573 to discuss your case with a knowledgeable representative. You can also fill out the free consultation contact information form located on this page to have all your questions answered.