Willowbrook Celebrates Signing Of 'Matt Haller Act'
Sterigenics protesters in Willowbrook.

Residents and officials in suburban Willowbrook are breathing a little easier after the signing of the so-called “Matt Haller Act” into law, which they hope will keep the Sterigenics sterilization facility from re-opening. The law enacts the nation’s strictest lmits on the emission of ethylene oxide, a cancer-causing chemical used sterilize medical equipment and other supplies.

The legislation was named for Matt Haller, a Willowbrook man who died of cancer after being a vocal activist against Sterigenics and its emissions of ethylene oxide into the community.

"Now we continue our fight,” said Matt’s widow, Colleen Haller. “We will not back down and no other families need to suffer. Let’s make sure Sterigenics never opens their doors again.”

The new law:

  • Forbids companies that produce ethylene oxide from opening within 10 miles of a school or park in counties with more than 50,000 residents or within 15 miles in counties that have less than 50,000 residents
  • Prohibits renewal of any permits for facilities that violate federal or state standards for ethylene oxide emissions
  • Prohibits use of ethylene oxide by any facility that has had egregious violations requiring a seal order

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What is Ethylene Oxide?

Willowbrook Celebrates Signing Of 'Matt Haller Act' Ethylene oxide is a cancer-causing chemical used in the sterilization of medical equipment and supplies. It 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:

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

Filing an Ethylene Oxide Lawsuit

Willowbrook area residents suffering with health issues related to the exposure of ethylene oxide from the Sterigenics’ facility may be entitled to recover damages for current and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Call the personal injury law offices of Cooney & Conway toll free at 800-322-5573 to discuss your potential case 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.