- Vantage Specialty Chemicals in Gurnee, IL and Medline Industries in Waukegan, IL are releasing ethylene oxide gas into the air near residential areas in Gurnee and Waukegan.
- Ethylene oxide causes cancer, including breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphomas, and leukemias.
- NO company or person should be allowed to release a cancer causing chemical into the community.
Help Spread the Word!
View the EPA FAQ on ethylene oxide. Many community members are still in the dark and the polluters want to keep it that way. Knowledge is power.
Chicago Tribune Investigative Series
April 29, 2020
After meeting with Trump, Medline wants FDA approval to sterilize N95 masks with ethylene oxide. Two other federal agencies are against it, citing cancer risks for health care workers.
April 3, 2020
Trump EPA still hasn’t told thousands of Americans about cancer risks from ethylene oxide
December 21, 2019
Amid chemical industry lobbying, Trump EPA reconsiders risk of cancer-causing ethylene oxide
December 11, 2019
Higher levels of cancer-causing ethylene oxide found in people living near Medline in Waukegan, CDC study shows
October 30, 2019
Illinois House approves phaseout of cancer-causing ethylene oxide, but Medline Industries and business groups are working to quash bill in Senate
October 16, 2019
How tough is the Illinois law on ethylene oxide? Not nearly tough enough, some lawmakers and residents say.
August 30, 2019
A year later, fight against ethylene oxide persists: ‘These folks aren’t going away.’
July 25, 2019
More than half a million Americans exposed to toxic air pollution face cancer risks above EPA guidelines. Check the Tribune’s interactive map to see if you might be one of them.
July 17, 2019
Sterigenics to reopen Willowbrook plant after installing new equipment to reduce emissions of cancer-causing gas
June 28, 2019
In a bid to reopen shuttered Willowbrook plant, Sterigenics proposes tighter controls on cancer-causing gas
May 23, 2019
Waukegan company proposes new pollution controls that would dramatically cut emissions of cancer-causing gas
March 22, 2019
Air testing after Sterigenics was shut down shows 'rapid drop' in cancer-causing gas in Willowbrook, EPA official says
March 8, 2019
Highest levels of cancer-causing gas found in communities near Sterigenics since U.S. EPA began testing
February 25, 2019
From discovery of a powerful chemical to shutting down Sterigenics: 160 years of ethylene oxide
February 19, 2019
Lake County residents push Trump, Pritzker EPAs for protection from same cancer-causing gas that shut down Sterigenics
February 15, 2019
Alarmed by cancer-causing ethylene oxide pollution, Gov. J.B. Pritzker orders shutdown of Sterigenics in Willowbrook
February 6, 2019
Trump EPA confirms Sterigenics is emitting alarming levels of cancer-causing gas in Willowbrook but still won't take action
January 25, 2019
Illinois lawmakers demand answers about monitoring for cancer-causing chemical during government shutdown
December 20, 2018
Officials knew ethylene oxide was linked to cancer for decades. Here's why it's still being emitted in Willowbrook and Waukegan.
December 7, 2018
New EPA tests near Sterigenics show ethylene oxide cancer risks haven't disappeared
November 30, 2018
New documents reveal how Sterigenics, other companies were allowed to vent cancer-causing gas into communities
Durbin, Carper, Duckworth, Foster, Schneider Ask EPA To Improve Communication Of Public Health Risks Of EtO Emissions
Ethylene oxide air testing around Medline in Waukegan, Vantage in Gurnee to wrap up in May
Medline testing equipment that could allow Waukegan factory to use ethylene oxide again
76 lawsuits have been filed over ethylene oxide emissions at Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook and more may be coming, attorney says
Activist group urges Gurnee District 56 officials to ‘do a better job’ informing parents about ethylene oxide emissions
Waukegan Company Will Stay Closed Due to High Levels of Cancer-Causing Chemicals; Company
Some Relieved At Temporary Shutdown Of Waukegan Medline Plant, Others Wonder Why They Didn’t Know
MEDLINE SHUTS DOWN WAUKEGAN PLANT TO COMPLY WITH ILLINOIS' NEW ETHYLENE OXIDE EMISSIONS LAW
Medline Industries in Waukegan forced to temporarily close as it works to meet new ethylene oxide rules
Families Turn Out At Waukegan City Council Meeting To Express Worries About Ethylene Oxide At Medline Plant
Blood Tests Show Higher Levels Of Potentially Cancer-Causing Gas In Those Who Live Near Waukegan Medline Plant
Results begin to roll in from second round of ethylene oxide testing in Lake County; higher levels of EtO detected in Gurnee
Higher levels of cancer-causing ethylene oxide detected near 2 plants in Lake County, Illinois
Representative Rita Mayfield (60th) on the closure of Medline in Waukegan: The Illinois EPA has failed to protect human life
IEPA blasted at ethylene oxide town hall for ‘stalling on regulating’ plants in Gurnee and Waukegan
Town hall meeting on ethylene oxide emissions set in Lake County; new 90-day test period approved
Capitol News Illinois
Legislators unveil bill to keep ethylene oxide emissions away from ‘densely populated regions’
4 Lake County residents sue Medline, Vantage over ethylene oxide emissions; attorney says ‘many more lawsuits’ are coming
Spurred By CBS 2 Investigation, Lawmakers Move Forward In Pushing For Ethylene Oxide Restrictions
Authorities Monitoring For Levels Of Cancer Causing Gas Near Facilities in Waukegan and Gurnee
Community skeptical of state EPA's proposed ethylene oxide controls at Medline facility in Waukegan
Gurnee, Waukegan mayors like county's ethylene oxide testing plan, but proposed deadlines are tight
'We know it’s toxic': Gurnee crowd protests emissions as county announces plans for tests at local plants
Illinois shut down Sterigenics because of ethylene oxide. Meanwhile, in Lake County …
Lake County planning for independent ethylene oxide tests near 2 facilities after EPA declined to do assessments
Duckworth presses EPA nominee Andrew Wheeler over EPA's efforts to prevent ethylene oxide emissions testing...
Duckworth, Foster, Durbin, Lipinski & Schneider introduct legislation to close loopholes that allow EPA to hide health risks of chemicals from public
Schneider and Durbin introduce bill to require EPA to revise standards for ethylene oxide emissions
Waukegan council supports investigation of carcinogenic gases from 2 Lake County facilities, but residents want more
Durbin Calls For Investigation Into Trump Administration's Delay Of Notifying Lake County Residents About Cancer-Causing Pollution
Editorial: The Sterigenics scare: U.S. EPA owes DuPage and Lake emissions safety standards
Schneider, Durbin, Duckworth meet with acting EPA administrator, call for action on cancer-causing pollution in Lake and DuPage counties
Alderman, 1st Ward
Alderman, 2nd Ward
Alderman, 3rd Ward
Alderman, 4th Ward
Alderman, 5th Ward
Alderman, 6th Ward
Alderman, 7th Ward
Alderman, 8th Ward
Alderman, 9th Ward
Senator, 31st District
Bush chairs the environmental committee and represents much of Gurnee. She has been a strong ally in the fight against EtO pollution.
Senator, 30th District
Link is the Assistant Majority Leader in the Senate. He represents most of Waukegan and parts of Gurnee. Both Vantage and Medline are in his district.
Representative, 59th District
Didech represents areas around Park City, including Medline.
Representative, 60th District
Mayfield represents much of Waukegan and some parts of Gurnee. Vantage is in her district.
Representative, 61st District
Mason represents much of Gurnee.
United States Representative, 10th District
Represents much of Waukegan and some of Gurnee. Vantage and Medline are in his district.
United States Representative, 14th District
Represents much of Gurnee.
The Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) report on ethylene oxide. IRIS is the gold standard review process and one of the few agency functions not substantially corrupted by industry. This has made it a target of industry for decades.
A summary of the IRIS findings with less technical information.
Appendices to the IRIS report. Of note, Appendix K summarizes industry objections to the IRIS findings and provides EPA rebuttal to those objections. Many of those objections are still repeated in industry talking points, despite the EPA rejecting them many years ago.
Questioning the use of ethylene oxide to sterilize N95 respirators, which experts have indicated is unsafe.
Expressing alarm about the findings of a study on EtO markers present in the blood of residents.
Announcing a rally at Senate President John Cullerton's office to demand HB3888 be passed out of committee.
Requesting that local governments and politicians endorse HB3888.
Demanding the shutdown of EtO operations at Medline and Vantage in response to air monitoring results.
This page contains many links to EtO monitoring data from the Lake County Health Department. Among those links are a continuously updated spreadsheet and links to wind rose maps containing results. The spreadsheet is less useful than the map documents because without wind information, the numbers are close to meaningless. Listing the numbers in a spreadsheet also temps you to do scientifically non-sensical things like compute an average. Our recommendation is to look at the individual wind rose maps and the results for days when the wind was blowing toward a cannister.
Results for testing paid for by Medline.
Results for testing paid for by Vantage.