WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — Medline is temporarily halting operations at its medical sterilization plant in Waukegan as it works to comply with new emissions rules.
Medline said it has been working around the clock to complete nearly $10 million in upgrades at the facility, and has already installed “world-class” emissions abatement equipment. While completing the final stages of testing the equipment, the facility will temporarily halt operations.
Employees will not be impacted, a spokesman said.
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Late last year, a limited study by the University of Illinois at Chicago found higher levels of the chemical ethylene oxide in the blood of people living near the Waukegan plant.
The study found that the average level of EtO in the blood of people living closer to the plant was significantly higher than the average in the group that lived farther away.
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey was the first to expose the levels of EtO found in the blood of 11-year-old Kobe Darden. His family lives about a mile from Medline and participated in the UIC study.
Medline said Monday that three months of ambient air tests released by the Lake County Health Department show a pattern of “extremely low” background levels of EtO at the Waukegan plant near tis facility, which it called “further evidence that our sterilization operation is conducted safely.”