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Manufacturer Considers Pollution Control Equipment

A medical equipment manufacturer may install pollution control equipment to reduce toxic air pollution from its plant.

Medline

WAUKEGAN, ILL. (AP) — A medical equipment manufacturer is proposing the installation of pollution control equipment to reduce toxic air pollution from its plant in suburban Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune reports Thursday that Medline Industries has told the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency the equipment is intended to prevent nearly all ethylene oxide emissions from escaping into surrounding Waukegan neighborhoods. 

Ethylene oxide is used to sterilize medical equipment. 

Medline Industries reported in 2014 that annual emissions were about 3,058 pounds (1,387 kilograms). The new equipment would limit that to 150 pounds (68 kilograms). 

A federal study has found ethylene oxide pollution is responsible for high cancer risks in four predominantly Latino and African-American census tracts around the plant. It says the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, leukemia and lymphomas is up to five times higher than the national average.


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