* ABC 7…
New testing by the U.S EPA shows there’s been a rapid drop in a cancer-causing chemical days after the closure of the Sterigenics plant in DuPage County.
The medical supply sterilization company, which has been in Willowbrook since 1984, was forced to shut down last month after testing showed dangerous levels of ethylene oxide in the air in a radius around the Sterigenics plant. […]
Since then, the most recent tests show ethylene oxide levels were at least 50 to 90 percent lower after the shutdown.
Thursday, Sterigenics released a statement claiming the results also prove there are other sources emitting ethylene oxide besides its facility. […]
However, Congressman Dan Lipinski’s (IL-3) office also issued a release Thursday stating “Sterigenics is clearly the culprit,” and persists the plant remain shut down.
Average levels of ethylene oxide after the shutdown were at least 50 percent lower at each of the 10 monitors, the documents show, and more than 90 percent lower at the testing locations closest to Sterigenics.
“We’re seeing a pretty rapid drop since the seal order,” Lewis Weinstock, an EPA official overseeing the agency’s testing, told residents Thursday during an online seminar, referring to the legal term for the action taken by the Pritzker administration.
Federal officials plan to keep collecting samples through the end of March, in part because unexplained concentrations of ethylene oxide continue to be detected at some locations even though Sterigenics isn’t releasing it into the air. Possible sources include other upwind facilities or lingering emissions from Sterigenics, Mike Koerber, associate director for policy at the EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, said during the seminar.
Based on information the agency already has collected, Koerber said, EPA scientists are conducting a more detailed evaluation of cancer risks in Willowbrook and surrounding suburbs — a document expected to be released to the public before a community forum in late May.
The full Sterigenics statement is here.