People living near Willowbrook Sterigenics face greater cancer concerns, CDC report finds

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, November 18, 2023
Sterigenics' Willowbrook neighbors face greater cancer concerns: CDC
A report by the CDC found people living within 1 mile of the Sterigenics Willowbrook facility while it operated do have a higher lifetime cancer risk.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that people who lived near the Sterigenics facility while it was operating in Willowbrook do face greater cancer concerns.

The CDC launched an investigation into the long-term health impacts of the plant, which closed in 2019. Its report concluded that because of ethylene oxide exposure, people who spent years breathing the air within one mile of Sterigenics have an increased lifetime risk of cancer.

The CDC also found there was not an increased cancer risk after the facility closed in February 2019.

In January, Sterigenics' parent company reached an agreement worth over $400 million to settle more than 870 pending cases against the company.

SEE ALSO | Sterigenics trial jury reaches $363M verdict in favor of woman who sued Willowbrook company

Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth along with Congressman Brad Schneider released a joint statement in response to the CDC report, saying in part, "Every effort possible should be made by Sterigenics, EPA and the Illinois Department of Public Health to help those at risk monitor their health and access necessary treatment."

ABC7 has reached out to Sterigenics for comment but have not yet heard back.