Ethylene Oxide Levels Relatively Low Since Feb. Sterigenics Shutdown
(John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

A new federal report shows that the air quality in Willowbrook and nearby suburbs has improved dramatically since Sterigenics was banned from using ethylene oxide in their Willowbrook plant, reports the Chicago Tribune. Concentrations of the cancer-causing gas at eight monitoring locations were up to 97 percent lower than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found before the company’s sterilization plant was effectively shut down on Feb. 15, the data show.

“This suggests to us that the … sterilization facilities are responsible for a significant amount of ethylene oxide in the area,” Mike Koerber, associate director for policy at the EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, said Friday during an online seminar with residents.

A report from EPA scientists in is due in late May detailing their evaluation of cancer risks in the Willowbrook area, based at least in part on air samples collected between November and February.


What is Ethylene Oxide?

Ethylene Oxide Levels Relatively Low Since Feb. Sterigenics ShutdownEthylene oxide has been used for decades as a highly effective fumigant which has been known to mutate DNA and trigger neurological problems since the 1940s. The chemical was put on the federal list of carcinogens in 1985, and in 2016 the EPA released a reassessment linking it more conclusively to such diseases as:

  • Breast cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphomas

The scientific community has concurred with EPA researchers who concluded that ethylene oxide is far more dangerous than previously thought. Long-term exposure to even the smallest concentrations increases the chance a person will develop cancer, the EPA has concluded.

Filing an Ethylene Oxide Lawsuit

Ethylene Oxide Levels Relatively Low Since Feb. Sterigenics ShutdownResidents of the Willowbrook area who suspect they may be suffering with health issues related to exposure to ethylene oxide may be entitled to file a claim seeking recovery from damages including:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of future income
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

For complete information, call the respected personal injury law offices of Cooney & Conway toll free at 800-322-5573 to speak with an experienced legal professional. You can also CLICK HERE or fill out the free consultation contact information form located on this page to have all your questions answered.