Sterigenics in west suburban Willowbrook, Illinois uses Ethyl Oxide to sterilize medical equipment and other products. Residents of Du Page and Cook counties near Willowbrook are at a higher risk of cancers as a result of decades long exposure to Ethyl Oxide. Sterigenics has been emitting Ethyl Oxide into the air since 1984. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) evaluated the potential health risks from emissions of Ethyl Oxide, a chemical the U.S.E.P.A. has found to be “carcinogenic to humans.” The report released in August 2018 concluded “an elevated cancer risks exist for residents and off site workers in the Willowbrook community.”
The 2014 National Air Toxics Assessment shows that Willowbrook has a cancer risk of 300 in a million; higher than anywhere in Chicago area and 10 times higher than vast majority of census tracts in the U.S., where cancer risks are 30 in a million. The health risks of Ethyl Oxide Exposure are significant. U.S. National Cancer Institute report finds “exposure is highly irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract that induces nausea and vomiting and causes central nervous system depression.” Chronic Ethyl Oxide exposure is associated with increased risks of: 1)Leukemia; 2) Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma; 3) Breast Cancer; 4) Stomach Cancer and 5) Pancreatic Cancer
Residents of Willowbrook area unknowingly lived with a higher cancer risk due to Ethyl Oxide emissions for over 30 years. In selecting an attorney to represent you in a toxic tort case you should select an attorney with experience in trying toxic tort cases. Several years ago I was the lead attorney in a lawsuit involving trichloroethylene (TCE) that was tried in Du Page County. A copy of the verdict report reveals that the jury awarded $2,368,500. While this case involved diminished property values, several companion cases were filed by my firm in federal court which involved personal injuries as a result of the higher risk of cancer due to exposure to TCE.