Sterigenics won't reopen Illinois plant

Sterigenics will not reopen its sterilization facility in Willowbrook, Ill., that shut down in February after the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency determined it was releasing an unhealthy amount of ethylene oxide, the company said Sept. 30

Though a judge approved the facility's reopening earlier this month, the medical device sterilizer said it could not reach an agreement to renew the facility's lease.

"We made every effort to reach a constructive resolution. Unfortunately, inaccurate and unfounded claims regarding Sterigenics and the unstable legislative and regulatory landscape in Illinois have created an environment in which it is not prudent to maintain these critical sterilization operations in Willowbrook," Sterigenics said in its news release.

Sterigenics faces dozens of lawsuits claiming its ethylene oxide emissions caused cancer among residents living near its plants. Ethylene oxide is a carcinogenic gas used to sterilize the majority of medical devices.

Another Sterigenics facility closed temporarily in Atlanta earlier this month, prompting the FDA to warn devicemakers and providers of potential supply disruptions that may lead to medical device shortages.

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