EPA to test air in neighborhood near sterilization company

September 28, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will conduct additional monitoring for air pollution near a suburban Chicago plant that handles medical instruments.

A federal study shows people living near Sterigenics International, a contract sterilization company in Willowbrook, face some of the country’s highest cancer risks from toxic air pollution. Federal officials began investigating the plant last year after a federal report revealed unusually high cancer risks for residents due to breathing toxic chemicals.

EPA official William L. Wehrum said Thursday federal inspectors will measure air quality near the plant to help determine if new pollution-control equipment installed by Sterigenics has substantially reduced ethylene oxide emissions.

More than 19,000 people live roughly a mile from the Willowbrook facility.

Sterigenics on Thursday claimed a controlled test of emissions last week confirmed “there is not an immediate health threat.”

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