After Sterigenics closes plant, activists set sights on other ETO-emitting facilities

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WILLOWBROOK, Ill. — After Sterigenics’ surprise move to close one of it’s facilities this week, anti-ETO activists are shifting their focus to two other companies operating in Lake County.

Just two days ago, Sterigenics announced it was closing it’s Willowbrook plant.  Now two other Lake County companies who use the cancer-causing agent Ethylene Oxide (ETO) are under the microscope of public scrutiny as well. This includes Vantage Specialty Chemicals in Gurnee, and Medline Industries Of Waukegan.

Tea Tanaka is the senior scientist with the group Stop ETO in Lake County, which wants to take the momentum coming off of Sterigenics and use it to have the Illinois EPA shutter those businesses as well.

“My kids live here. They go to school here. We are breathing this gas 24/7,” Tanaka said.

Testing over recent months has shown elevated levels of ETO, and people living and working around the ETO facilities will gather for a town hall meeting Wednesday night.

Judging from how he acted and in the Sterigenics matter, activists say they think Governor Pritzker will be on their side as well.


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