The Lyon Firm is investigating cases for Sterigenics victims, toxic exposure cases involving ethylene oxide and other occupational toxins for plaintiffs nationwide
Ethylene oxide (EtO) is used primarily as an intermediate in the production of other industrial chemicals like ethylene glycol. It is also used as a fumigant in agricultural products and to sterilize medical instruments and other equipment.
It is important to note that EtO possesses severe physical and health hazards, and acute occupational exposures to ethylene oxide may result in respiratory irritation and lung injury, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and cyanosis.
Chronic ethylene oxide exposure has been associated with cancer, reproductive effects, mutagenic changes, and neurotoxicity.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to toxic chemicals and suffered a serious injury, contact us for a free and confidential case review.
What is Ethylene Oxide?
At room temperature, ethylene oxide is a flammable colorless gas with a sweet odor. It is used to produce chemicals like antifreeze or used as a pesticide and a sterilizing agent.
People exposed to EtO may experience the following symptoms:
- Upset stomach (Vomiting/Diarrhea)
- Trouble breathing
- Reproductive problems
How are People Exposed to Ethylene Oxide?
The primary toxic exposure routes are inhalation and ingestion, which may occur through occupational, consumer, or environmental exposure.
- Despite employer precautions, employees and people who live near industrial facilities that use ethylene oxide may be exposed through uncontrolled industrial emissions.
Workers may come into contact with ethylene oxide in the following instances:
- Working in a facility that makes solvents, antifreeze, textiles, detergents, adhesives, or polyurethane foam
- Working in plants that make ethylene oxide
- Using the chemical to control insects in grain bins
- Working in a hospital where it is used to sterilize medical equipment and supplies
NIOSH recommends that employers educate workers and take every recommended safety precaution to prevent injuries.
What Cancer is Linked to Ethylene Oxide Exposure?
Lymphoma, stomach cancer, leukemia and breast cancer are the cancers reportedly linked with occupational exposure to ethylene oxide.
A toxic tort or toxic exposure case is a specific type of personal injury that occurs as a result of the exposure to toxic materials or chemicals. Many people are unknowingly exposed to dangerous substances at their workplace or home and only discover the past exposure after they have been diagnosed with a type of cancer that is associated with the toxic material.
Exposure to a toxic material even in very short doses or duration can lead to severe health consequences, as each persons body may be more or less susceptible to cancer. Other types of illnesses and cancers are the result of long-term or chronic chemical exposure, usually at the workplace.
Many plaintiffs file lawsuits after they discover that their employers failed to properly protect them from serious health and safety risks over the years. Employers may be liable for any injury to a worker.
Sterigenics Cancer Lawsuits
Sterigenics, an Illinois medical device sterilization company, has been ordered to pay $363 million to a cancer survivor who claims the Illinois plant’s toxic emissions caused her illness.
This Sterigenics cancer case is just one of more than 700 similar lawsuits the company is facing. The company used ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment and allegedly emitted the chemical for decades.
The plaintiffs said in testimony that had she known that the plant was releasing ethylene oxide into the air, she would have moved. If you or a loved one has a similar story, contact our attorneys for a free consultation.