Community discusses chemical-exposure study near 2 plants in Lake County, Illinois

Community members gathered Sunday to discuss a new study looking into possible chemical exposure for people living near two facilities in Lake County, Illinois.

The concern is ethylene oxide emitted by Medline Industries in Waukegan and Vantage Chemicals in Gurnee.

Ethylene oxide is the same chemical blamed for numerous cancer cases around the now-closed Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook.

The study conducted by the University of Illinois-Chicago shows people living near the Lake County plants had more of the chemical in their blood than people farther away.

RELATED: Higher levels of cancer-causing ethylene oxide detected near 2 plants in Lake County, Illinois

Lake County has held public hearings and both companies have installed extra emissions controls.

Medline and Vantage said their facilities are currently meeting EPA guidelines.

Medline issued a statement, saying that its "priority is the safety and wellbeing of our community, which is why we support further study of this issue."

"However, it is important to note that the researcher has acknowledged no scientific conclusions can be drawn from the information that was collected," Medline said.

Vantage didn't immediately respond to ABC7's request for comment.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.