Sterigenics critics urge governor to tour area around troubled plant

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WHEATON, Ill. — People who live near the controversial Sterigenics plant are looking for help from Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker. They're asking the governor to tour affected areas in Willowbrook.

Sterigenics is facing a number of legal challenges.

The company's Willowbrook plant has been temporarily shutdown by order of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Surrounding residents are convinced that Sterigenics' use of ethylene oxide is responsible for cancer clusters in Willowbrook and other southwest suburbs.

“We are imploring Governor Pritzker to come to Willowbrook,” said Lauren Kaeseberg.

Kaeseberg and dozens of others gathered at the DuPage County Courthouse Thursday urged the governor and Illinois legislators to take immediate action to permanently shut down the plant.

Company executives have long maintained that they’ve operated within safety guidelines when it comes to emissions of ethylene oxide, a substance used to sterilize medical equipment.

People are up in arms about recent testing which found elevated levels of the substance, forcing Illinois EPA to order a temporary halt to the use of ethylene oxide, as a complaint brought by Willowbrook and other communities winds its way through the courts.

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