Press Release – DuPage Greens Demand End to Emission of Ethylene Oxide


Contact: Anna Schiefelbein
DuPage County Green Party


Ethylene Oxide Is A Carcinogen That Alters Our DNA

Wheaton, Illinois (October 25, 2019) – The DuPage County Green Party (DuPage Greens) is thankful to hear the news that Sterigenics U.S., LLC is leaving the Willowbrook, IL facility. We support the Stop Sterigenics group in their continuing efforts to ban the emissions of Ethylene Oxide (EtO).  EtO is a harmful industrial byproduct that is released in public spaces where the disease risks are borne by an unconsenting public.

Ethylene oxide is recognized as a carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program.  The EPA states in its Frequently Asked Questions:

“Evidence in humans indicates that exposure to ethylene oxide by inhalation increases the risk of lymphohematopoietic cancers (including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma, and lymphocytic leukemia) and, for females, breast cancer.”

And also:

“EtO is mutagenic (i.e., it can change the DNA in a cell). Children may be more susceptible to the harmful effects of mutagenic substances.”

The struggle of the residents of Willowbrook and the surrounding communities to protect their right to breathe clean air is yet another example of how companies choose to make their investors wealthier while ignoring the public health costs. The Green Party supports a holistic approach to justice, recognizing that environmental justice, social justice and economic justice depend on and support each other.

The DuPage Greens stand in solidarity with the Stop Sterigenics group, their efforts to ban EtO, the current legislation of House Bill (HB) 3885 and HB 3888. HB 3885 allows towns to ban EtO within their boundaries. HB 3888 calls for the end of ethylene oxide emissions in densely populated communities in Illinois. Currently, witness slips are available online for HB 3888 and ends Monday October 28, 2019 at 2:30 pm. A witness slip is a form of public participation that the Illinois government uses.  Members of the DuPage Greens also plan on supporting the Stop Sterigenics group at the Citizen Lobby Day in Springfield on November 13, 2019.

The DuPage County Green Party is a political party that stands for economic, social, racial, environmental, and democratic justice for all of the people of DuPage County. Neither the Green Party or their candidates for political office accept corporate contributions. For more information, please visit


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