Medical sterilization plant closed by Illinois EPA faces dozens of lawsuits

Alia Paavola - Print  | 

Sterigenics, an Illinois-based medical supply sterilization plant, has been sued by nearly three dozen people who allege it emitted fumes that have adversely affected their health, according to the Chicago Crusader.

The 32 lawsuits, filed Aug. 19 in Cook County Circuit Court, seek damages from the company that operates the plant in Willowbrook, Ill.

In February, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency shut down the Willowbrook plant after air quality testing detected ethylene oxide in surrounding areas. Ethylene oxide is a carcinogenic chemical.

"Sterigenics has been emitting ethylene oxide into the air near Willowbrook for decades, knowing that it is a carcinogen with potency and danger on par with radiation," said Antonio Romanucci, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. "Hundreds of thousands have been exposed, and tens of thousands have been sickened. Now, thousands of victims are being represented in these lawsuits seeking justice."

Sterigenetics said the company has always complied with EPA regulations. 

Read the full report here. 

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