Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » FDA asks Georgia to reopen Sterigenics plant, but hasn’t yet approached Illinois
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
FDA asks Georgia to reopen Sterigenics plant, but hasn’t yet approached Illinois

Monday, Mar 23, 2020

* Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The federal Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Gov. Brian Kemp this week urging Georgia to allow a controversial sterilization plant in Cobb County to reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Sterigenics, near Smyrna, has been shuttered since summer. It is one of a handful of facilities permitted to use the carcinogenic gas ethylene oxide to sterilize single-use medical devices.

The letter, which was obtained and published by the Cook County Record in Illinois, cites the current shortage of “personal protective equipment” (PPE) such as gowns, respirators, masks, and gloves as a compelling reason to allow the plant to resume operations.

“Due to the recent challenges with the closure of some commercial sterilizers, such as the Sterigenics facility located in Cobb County, the supply of critical PPE during the COVID-19 outbreak has been further limited,” it reads. “FDA is asking for your assistance in helping to increase the supply of PPE to help protect against COVID-19 by working with Sterigenics to allow for the appropriate sterilization of PPE.”

* Cook County Record

Amid a sustained threat of continued legal and regulatory action from the state, activists and trial lawyers, Sterigenics opted not to attempt to reopen the Willowbrook facility, despite reaching a deal with the Illinois Attorney General’s office that should have allowed it to do so, subject to emissions controls and other requirements even more strict than those set in Illinois’ new EtO law.

At the same time, a sterilization facility operated by medical device maker Medline in suburban Waukegan also remained offline, after Medline voluntarily pulled the plug on the sterilization facility late last year to meet new EtO emissions standards set by a new Illinois state law in 2019, in response to concerns over Sterigenics’ alleged actions.

In a statement, the FDA declined to answer whether it had sent a similar request to the state of Illinois concerning its shuttered EtO plants.

However, the agency said: “In the face of this rapidly evolving National Public Health Emergency, there is increased need for certain essential medical devices that require sterilization. We understand that sterile PPE are rapidly falling in short supply. Therefore, the FDA is seeking assistance from state and local governments as well as from facilities to increase the supply of PPE needed for healthcare personnel to protect against COVID-19.”

I asked the governor’s office if the FDA has made a similar request of Illinois and was told it has not heard from the agency about this.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - JB13 - Monday, Mar 23, 20 @ 1:32 pm:

    Maybe someone could ask the governor if he would be willing to ease the process a bit to let sterilization facilities open? Sterigenics is no saint in this (far from it), but PPE is in short supply and the FDA believes sterilization plants are a chokepoint. After all, the FDA did warn the public several times last year, but no one listened.

  2. - Jilted - Monday, Mar 23, 20 @ 1:53 pm:

    Sterigenics used this very arguement to stay open .said very few did this neccessary and vital operation. Your turn jb

  3. - Med Sense - Monday, Mar 23, 20 @ 2:14 pm:

    If we can close down the economy for the greater good of society, we can open the Sterigenics plan to help protect the doctors and nurses on the front lines. Hearing of hospitals systematically sending their employees to the ER to get tested for COVID-19. Most are not wearing protective gear. A bad plan and without gear an easy way of crumping the entire health system fast. The Governor should order Sterigenics back in business ASAP.

  4. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Mar 23, 20 @ 2:28 pm:

    Easy to say reopen the EtO facilities, but what about the folks who live nearby who will get cancer?

  5. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Mar 23, 20 @ 2:52 pm:

    If Sterigenics can prevent people from getting one horrible disease without giving people another horrible disease in the process (and if we can trust but verify) they should go for it.
    That’s all anyone wanted from them anyhow.

  6. - Maestro - Monday, Mar 23, 20 @ 3:27 pm:

    If asked to reopen after being give the corporate death penalty without trial (and based on mere trial lawyer junk science), Sterigenics will likely tell Pritzker/Illinois to go cram it with walnuts

  7. - Challenges Abound - Monday, Mar 23, 20 @ 3:45 pm:

    Allowing these two EtO sterilization facilities in Illinois to reopen would be the fastest way to possibly re-sterilize “used” PPE equipment to help alleviate some of the hospitals and Governor’s concern over PPE shortages. For the foreseeable future, the PPE shortages only get more challenging without additional sterilization capacity. If FDA/CDC ask, it will pose quite a quandary for our leaders.

  8. - 17% Solution - Monday, Mar 23, 20 @ 5:15 pm:

    ==If asked to reopen after being give the corporate death penalty without trial (and based on mere trial lawyer junk science)==
    That’s not what happened. Sterigenics was given many chances to get their act together. They lied about fixing their equipment. They got caught by the EPA. People died. It has only been a year ago, too soon to assume everyone forgot.

TrackBack URI

This is not Facebook, so uncivil comments, profanity of any kind, rumors and anonymous commenters will not be tolerated and will likely result in banishment.

* Pritzker thanks Abbott Labs - "Our rate of rise is looking less and less exponential" - Praises local groups for pitching in - Shoutout to #SpritzersWithPritzker - Dr. Ezike: "If you think you don't have a case in your zip code that's probably not actually the case" - Pritzker defends pending minimum wage hike - Still no date for IDES fix - Could come back in the fall - More testing in African-American areas - Curve not bending down yet - Will be posting PPE contracts online - Following Gov. Baker's lead on contact tracing - Dr. Ezike outlines DHS DD center readiness - Addresses federal halt to funding drive-through testing - "I think everybody needs to think seriously about canceling large summer events" - Plans to pursue workshare program
* 1,344 new cases, 66 additional deaths
* Ted E. Leverenz
* COVID-19 roundup
* Worst case scenario: "Illinois could lose more than $28 billion between calendar years 2020 and 2023"
* Today's heroes: Tony and Lisa Yuscius
* Question of the day
* The testing situation
* Still no word on when gig workers can access Illinois unemployment insurance
* *** UPDATED x1 *** National stockpile runs dry as feds stop supporting drive-through sites
* 6.6 million new jobless claims
* Open thread
* *** UPDATED x1 - 50 at Shapiro, 29 at Ludeman *** Several Murray Developmental Center residents, 1 staff test positive
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...










Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller