How is Sterigenics involved with Ethylene Oxide in Georgia?
Sterigenics International is a global corporation that sterilizes medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and food products around the world. Sterigenics uses vast quantities of ethylene oxide as part of the sterilization process, requiring them to store and handle large quantities of this chemical. Unfortunately, it has come to light that Sterigenics has allowed extremely high levels of ethylene oxide to escape its Atlanta/ Cobb County facility. Both employees and nearby residents have been exposed to hazardous levels of this chemical, to such an extent that Sterigenics voluntarily shut down the facility to upgrade their equipment to reduce emissions. And of course, Sterigenics claims that its facility has been safe for 50 years and that any claims to the contrary are without basis.
Whether you are an employee or live within a reasonable distance of the Atlanta Sterigenics plant, we recommend that you speak with a Georgia ethylene oxide lawyer as soon as possible.
The Dangers Associated with Ethylene Oxide in Georgia
Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer categorize ethylene oxide as a known carcinogenic. Low-level exposures can result in cases of acute poisoning, but prolonged exposure can destroy DNA and cause genetic mutations, leading to different types of cancers. Ethylene oxide is linked to the following types of cancers:
- Lymphocytic leukemia
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Stomach cancer
The primary means of toxic exposure is either inhalation or ingestion. Workers may be exposed to both risks, while residents in the Sterigenics plant areas may have been exposed via inhalation. If you have been diagnosed with one of the cancers above and have reason to believe you were exposed, a Georgia ethylene oxide lawyer can hold Sterigenics accountable for your illness.
Victims of Exposure Should Contact a Georgia Ethylene Oxide Lawyer
Lawsuits have already been filed across the state of Georgia seeking claims arising from ethylene oxide exposure. The basis for these lawsuits is that Sterigenics knew or should have known that it was exposing workers and residents of surrounding areas to unsafe levels of ethylene oxide for many years. Their negligence or callous refusal to address the situation and reduce emissions directly led to incidents of cancer, respiratory problems, miscarriages, birth defects, and other health problems.
If these lawsuits are successful, Sterigenics could be held financially liable for the hardships and health problems they have caused. Victims may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Their current and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Their pain and suffering
Because the illnesses associated with ethylene oxide are so serious, the value of these claims could be substantial. If you have suffered health problems as a result of exposure to ethylene oxide, a Georgia ethylene oxide lawyer can give you an estimate of what your claim may be worth.
The Challenges of a Georgia Ethylene Oxide Claim
Pursuing an ethylene oxide claim is quite difficult, especially for non-lawyers. First, you will have to pursue a major corporation – one that has both in-house and outside counsel whose job it is to defend them against claims and deny any responsibility for your illness. As noted above, Sterigenics has publicly stated that they believe any claims regarding harms caused by them are without merit, and they intend to vigorously defend themselves.
Secondly, you will need to prove your claim. Your cancer diagnosis or other health problems by themselves will not be sufficient to prove your case. You will need to prove how you were exposed and will probably need an expert witness to testify to the link between ethylene oxide and your illness. Finally, you will need someone who will know how to navigate the claim process and, if necessary, file a lawsuit to protect your rights. Successfully pursuing a claim is almost impossible without the help of an experienced Georgia ethylene oxide attorney.