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Bush demands answers on deadly ethylene oxide emissions in Lake County

bush 111418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is demanding answers about the deadly impact of ethylene oxide emissions from two Lake County plants. Victims and experts spoke about potential effects of ethylene oxide being emitted from Chicago-area plants during the Senate Environment and Conservation committee hearing today.

“Public safety has to be the top priority,” Bush said. “Today’s hearing made it clear that business interests are being prioritized over the health and safety of Illinoisans. And that’s not acceptable.”

 

The hearing came after the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a report showing that the areas around Sterigenics in DuPage County and Medline in Lake County have increased rates of cancer due to ethylene oxide emissions.

“Ethylene oxide might be the cheapest option for businesses sterilizing medical equipment, but it’s the most costly for Illinoisans’ health,” Bush said. “Air permits for companies emitting these cancer-causing toxins need to be reviewed immediately and substitute sterilization methods need to be considered.”

The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently changed its assessment of ethylene oxide from “probably carcinogenic to humans” to “carcinogenic to humans,” concluding that the cancer risk of inhaling the gas is 30 times higher than normal.

Sen. Melinda Bush

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31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education; Environment and Conservation (Chairperson); Government Accountability/Pensions; Revenue; Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (AP); Sub. on Tax Exemptions and Credits; Sub. on Interscholastic Athletics; Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Biography: Born March 18, 1956; former member of the Lake County Board, Forest Preserve Board and former Grayslake village trustee; married (Andy) with one adult son (Chris).

Associated Representatives:
Joyce Mason
Sam Yingling