Ethylene Oxide Levels Being Measured in Lake County

Ethylene Oxide

Lake County (Ill.) Health Department officials are in the process of measuring levels of ethylene oxide near companies in the northern suburbs. The cancer-causing chemical is used for the sterilization of equipment by Medline Industries in Gurnee and Vantage Specialty Chemicals in Waukegan.

High amounts of ethylene oxide in southwest suburban Willowbrook forced the Illinois Environmental Agency to shut down Sterigenics, a medical sterilization plant.

Ten air monitors were placed around Gurnee and Waukegan to determine how much ethylene oxide is in the air in those communities.

"We have four sites surrounding the Medline location; we also have four sites near Vantage and we have two remote sites," Mark Pfister, executive director of the Lake County Health Department told ABC7Chicago.

Officials expect results from the testing to be completed within two to three weeks.


What is Ethylene Oxide?

Ethylene oxide has been on the federal government’s list of carcinogens since 1985. It is a highly reactive chemical effective for use as a sterilant for a wide range of industrial applications. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), chronic exposure to ethylene oxide has been associated with the occurrence of:

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

Filing an Ethylene Oxide Lawsuit

Residents in affected areas who are suffering from health issues related to ethylene oxide exposure may be entitled to recover damages for current and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

If you or a loved one have been impacted, call the respected personal injury law offices of Cooney & Conway toll-free at 800-322-5573 for a free case evaluation with an experienced legal professional. You can also CLICK HERE or fill out the contact information form located on this page to have all your questions answered.