Most people assume that the neighborhoods that they live in are relatively safe and that when it comes to things out of their control–like dangerous products, pollution, or cancer-causing chemicals in the air that can cause personal injury or wrongful death–the government will intervene to protect them.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always true.
Indeed, despite the fact that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated ethylene oxide (EtO) is carcinogenic to humans by inhalation–a classification that was recently strengthened from its previous classification as only probably carcinogenic to humans–EtO is still being released into the air we breathe. This is a global problem – EtO is making people sick wherever it is used.
At the law offices of MG Law, our personal injury lawyers are here to represent you or your family members if you’ve suffered serious side effects or death as a result of exposure to EtO. One of our attorneys, Attorney Michael Geoffroy, lives a mere 1.2 miles from one source emitting EtO – the BD Bard Plant. Just like you, he and his family are affected, and this is personal to him. For your free consultation with an attorney who empathizes with what you’re going through, call MG Law today.
What Is EtO?
Ethylene oxide is a colorless gas that is used to make other chemicals. The chemicals that EtO is used to make contribute to the manufacture of a variety of products, including antifreeze, plastics, detergents, and more. One of the most important uses of EtO, though, is to sterilize medical devices and equipment that cannot be sterilized by steam. During the coronavirus pandemic, medical companies are capitalizing on the need for medical equipment to justify the use of EtO, putting those who live near EtO-producing factories at risk.
What Are the Side Effects of Exposure to EtO?
As stated, EtO has been reclassified as carcinogenic by the EPA. What’s more, the EPA has concluded that cancer risks from EtO exposure are 30 times greater than what was previously thought. Exposure to EtO, particularly extended exposure, has been linked with cancers including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, breast cancer, and lymphocytic leukemia. Long-term exposure can also lead to eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation; and harm to the brain and nervous system, leading to symptoms such as numbness, memory loss, and headaches. There is also evidence that exposure can lead to birth defects, and that those who are exposed have significant DNA damage.
Chemical Companies Keep Spending Millions to Avoid Personal Injury Liability
Despite the fact the ethylene oxide is a known carcinogen that is leading to severe health consequences and deaths, chemical industry giants, such as Dow Chemical and Shell, have pushed the Trump administration to adopt weaker standards for the cancer-causing gas. To be sure, the Chicago Tribune reported in December 2019 that top chemical companies lobbied the administration in order to have the EPA”s peer-reviewed evaluation of EtO thrown out and replaced with industry-funded research (research which had been rejected by two separate panels of independent scientists). What’s more, while the White House had originally promised to back the EPA and protect citizens living near Eto-emitting factors, President Trump backed away from that promise in November of 2019.
What You Can Do
If you live in an EtO-exposure area, there are a few things that you can do to start protecting yourself and your family. First, if you believe that you have been exposed to EtO and have suffered harmful effects as a result, you should contact an attorney. Anyone who has worked at a factory that produces EtO and has developed cancer or another serious health condition may have a strong case for damages.
What’s more, anyone can get active with local groups, such as “Say No to EtO” and “Stop Sterigenics.”
Call a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
At MG Law, our law firm typically handles small personal injury cases. However, this issue is personal to us, and we have partnered with the American Association for Justice, which has a toxic tort practice. ‘I knew it was a fight I had to be involved in. This is something that affects me personally, said Geoffroy in a recent article published by Trial Lawyers. We are working hard to hold chemical companies liable for the harm that they have caused to families who live near EtO-emitting plants. If you think that you have a case and you don’t take action to make sure that your voice is heard, the industry will continue to pump out this poison, putting others at risk.
If you think that you have a case or if you have questions about ethylene oxide, your exposure, and the liability of chemical companies that are emitting ethylene oxide gas, please call our law firm directly today or send us a message. We offer free consultations and can work on your case on a contingent-fee basis.
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