Suits: Release Of Ethylene Oxide Caused Cancer

Nancy Harty
August 28, 2019 - 5:54 pm

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Four Lake County residents are suing Medline Industries and Vantage Specialty Chemicals, claiming their cancer was caused by the companies' release of ethylene oxide. 

They range in age from three to 80 years old and have been diagnosed with leukemia and breast cancer.

The suits filed by the firms Edelson PC and Tomasik Kotin Kasserman assert Medline and Vantage released up to 13,000 of ethylene oxide a year and subjected residents to what they call some of the highest long-term cancer risks in the U.S.

Gurnee resident Patty Bennett was diagnosed with large granular lymphocytic leukemia almost three years ago. It is a cancer that's supposed to be rare but she found another woman who lives about a mile away from her who also has it.

They started talking at a meeting in April about ethylene oxide emissions.

Medline says in a statement: "Our most important priority is always the health and well-being of our employees, their families and our communities. We have always operated in compliance with all laws and regulations, have always operated at or below our permitted levels, and plan to defend any suits vigorously."

While both companies have installed additional pollution controls recently, attorney Chris Dore, who represents Bennett and others, said it’s not enough because they've been it emitting for decades.