22 more lawsuits filed against Sterigenics over ethylene oxide concerns

The number of lawsuits filed against Sterigenics climbed to 73 after 22 more were filed Dec. 12, according to Capitol News Illinois

All of the lawsuits relate to Sterigenics' use of ethylene oxide, a potentially cancer-causing chemical, to sterilize medical devices at its Willowbrook, Ill., facility for more than 30 years. Chronic exposure to ethylene oxide can increase cancer risks and cause other major medical problems, according to the U.S. Labor Department

The Willowbrook plant closed in September, citing the "unstable legislative and regulatory landscape in Illinois" that "created an environment in which it is not prudent to maintain these critical sterilization operations in Willowbrook."

Romanucci & Blandin, a Chicago-based law firm, said that the new lawsuits filed against Sterigenics accuse the company of causing "leukemia, lymphoma, breast cancer, miscarriages and other medical conditions."

Some of the lawsuits named Sotera Health, a parent company of Sterigenics, and GTCR, a hedge fund with ownership interest in the company, according to Capitol News Illinois. Some also include a maintenance supervisor and operations manager from the Willowbrook plant. 

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