(CBS) — What is ethylene oxide, the cancer-causing agent at the center of the Sterigenics case?
The chemical is used to sterilize medical equipment.READ MORE: High Ranking Cook County Sheriff's Office Official Resigns Amid Complaints Of Inappropriate, Unsolicited Sexual Comments To Colleague
According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the chemical is linked to several cancers. The CBS 2 Investigators obtained documents showing the EPA warned the company 35 years ago that ethylene oxide caused stomach cancer.READ MORE: Another Delay For Bid To Create Database For CPD Misconduct Files As Aldermen Question Cost, Frustrating City's Top Watchdog
According to a 1984 Illinois EPA letter, the agency warned the company that the 40 tons of ethylene oxide released the previous year, was “several magnitudes higher than desirable.” The company was warned at that time that ethylene oxide could cause cancers of the pancreas, bladder, brain, and stomach. According to the letter, the EPA found the company was releasing it at levels 14 times to 445 times the acceptable level for people in a one-mile radius around the plant.MORE NEWS: Expert Breaks Down The Seconds Before Adam Toledo Was Shot In Body Camera Video
Sterigenics denies all claims it dumped illegally or outside of any the controlled limits set by regulatory agencies