Sterigenics proposes tighter controls on cancer-causing gas


The Willowbrook medical device sterilization plant that shut down operations after being banned from using a cancer-causing chemical is seeking to reopen the facility, vowing to significantly reduce the emissions of ethylene oxide. Sterigenics filed a proposal last week with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) saying it would install a pollution control system to prevent nearly all of the ethylene oxide it uses from emitting into area communities.

New legislation signed into law in June mandates that companies like Sterigenics which use ethylene oxide must keep the emissions completely contained within the facilities and that annual testing be submitted to the Illinois EPA.

“Sterigenics can take whatever steps they feel are necessary to try and reopen,” Willowbrook Mayor Frank Trilla said in a statement. “But as long as they are using ethylene oxide, they are not welcome in Willowbrook.”


What is Ethylene Oxide?

Sterigenics proposes tighter controls on cancer-causing gasEthylene 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 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
  • Breast, stomach, and pancreatic cancer
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma

Filing an Ethylene Oxide Lawsuit

Sterigenics proposes tighter controls on cancer-causing gasResidents of Willowbrook or the immediate surrounding communities suffering with health issues related to ethylene oxide exposure from the Willowbrook Sterigenics’ facility 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.