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Attorneys representing Individuals & Families suffering from Carcinogenic Emissions Related Health Issues respond to latest EPA Test Results in Willowbrook

March 22, 2019

The new test results shared yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have proven what our firms have known for several months – Sterigenics International was releasing extremely dangerous levels of the cancer causing chemical, ethylene oxide (EtO) into the atmosphere until a seal order was placed on the facility.

The seal order was entered on February 15th, and the ambient air monitoring results showed a 90% decrease in EtO concentrations in the air following the closure of Sterigenics’ Willowbrook plant.  This is exceptionally strong evidence that Sterigenics’ operations account for the vast majority of the ethylene oxide concentration in the Willowbrook area’s outdoor air.  

Over the last six months, Sterigenics has blamed the elevated EtO levels on trucks, cars, the facility’s proximity to the highway, cigarettes, fruits, deli meats, and even the human body. Sterigenics has repeatedly denied contributing to elevated levels of EtO even though it has been polluting the class one carcinogen directly into the air for the last 34 years. Today we confirmed the truth—Sterigenics is almost singlehandedly responsible for the massive levels of EtO in Willowbrook and responsible for putting Willowbrook in the top 99.98% of the most toxic areas in the country.

While there was a 90% decrease in the ethylene oxide concentrations following the seal order, the concentrations detected in the days immediately following the seal order—February 19th and 20th, showed higher levels of ethylene oxide when compared to later dates of testing, specifically February 21st-26th.  This is notable as it demonstrates that although the sterilization cycles were no longer running, off-gassing product and product shipped from the Sterigenics facilities likely contribute to the overall ethylene oxide concentrations in the Willowbrook area. 

The repeated denials by Sterigenics that it is not responsible for the carcinogenic emissions only prove further that this is a company who cannot be trusted and will do and say whatever it takes to avoid responsibility. We are disgusted by their actions.

Every day Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., Power Rogers & Smith, L.L.P., The Collins Law Firm, P.C., Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, Corboy & Demetrio, P.C, Goldberg Weisman Cairo, and Dolan Law are fighting to provide support for individuals and families who are suffering from cancer, birth defects and miscarriages among other catastrophic injuries due to these carcinogenic emissions from the Sterigenics International plant in Willowbrook, Illinois. We must hold Sterigenics accountable for their reckless negligence that has resulted in the needless and continuous poisoning of men, women, and children in Illinois for so many years.

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