If you are a Cobb County resident, then you are no stranger to the controversy that comes with Sterigenics. This Cobb County company was shut down because it was emitting cancer-causing toxins. But with the Corona pandemic in full force, Sterigenics has been re-opened to assist in sterilizing medical supplies and face masks. However, some locals have filed lawsuits because they are worried about the potential health risk that comes with its re-opening.
The controversy comes in because of the use of Ethylene Oxide, a chemical known for its carcinogenic properties with research showing that emissions can result in increased instances of cancer for people in surrounding areas. So with the company re-opening to assist during these unprecedented times, it’s understandable that there are some members in the Cobb County community that are outraged by that decision.
Nicole Kelly, a daycare professional, was especially emotionally when showing off her playground situated near Sterigenics. At the edge of the playground are two canisters that assist in monitoring air levels due to its proximity to Sterigenics in Cobb County. Nicole continued further, saying how she really cares about the kids and how ETO is dangerous and shouldn’t be pumped into the neighborhood period.
Last July, a report was released linking the plant’s usage of Ethylene Oxide to increased cancer rates in the area. And as per EPA regulations, it’s considered unacceptable for any community to record 100 extra cases of cancer per 1 million persons exposed to Ethylene Oxide. As a result of this, Sterigenics was forced to shut down its facility in Cobb County to help in improving its air emissions. Despite this, it was barred from re-opening again by Cobb County for the past seven months.
During this pandemic, it’s no secret that there’s a massive shortage of masks. This has seen the Coronavirus Task Force employ a measure of sterilizing masks instead, and upon FDA approval, the process could see masks getting re-used up to 20 times. And in case it’s approved, Sterigenics could be among the facilities performing those sterilizations despite pressure from the public concerning Ethylene Oxide usage.
To combat these difficult times, the federal government requested Mike Boyce, the chairman of Cobb County Board of Commissioners, Sterigenics is temporarily back in operation for 21 days sterilizing medical equipment needed during this pandemic. But the question remains; are the face masks laced with Ethylene Oxide really safe? Sterigenics claims that its Cobb County facility is safe. But with people more worried about COVID-19, they are still concerned about the chemicals coming out of these plants. Nobody is against the necessity for PPE’S and sterilization during the outbreak. The hope is that this action isn’t trading one health crisis with another.
And despite the uproar from the public, Sterigenics is adamant that their facility is fully prepared and safe to play its part in sterilizing essential medical devices and products to help in protecting patients and health care providers on the front lines.
On March 30, 2020, Sterigenics proceeded to file a suit against Cobb County against their initial closure, claiming they suffered losses of over $75,000. The lawsuit states that they want quick and permanent relief for their resumption of operations in sterilizing critical medical devices and products in the interest of the public. If that isn’t a clear cut indicator of corporate greed, then we don’t know what is!
A group residing around the facility called Stop Sterigenics Georgia stated that instead of them concentrating on how best they can help during this crisis; they were prioritizing their permanent re-opening. It’s absolutely appalling!
We understand the current financial constraints around the country, and that’s why we at Dalimonte Rueb Stoller LLP won’t charge you a dime until the case is over because we are more concerned. So if you or somebody close to you develops a severe health condition or cancer resulting from Ethylene Oxide exposure, our mass tort attorneys are more than ready to advocate for your case aggressively. We have a belief that companies causing harm to the community should be held liable to the full extent of the law.
We really do believe that justice is an entitlement to everybody, which is why even with our current office closure across the country, we are still dedicated to protecting the safety, health, and welfare of our clients. Our nurses, case managers, paralegals, and lawyers are still at play (though remotely) to actively pursue your claims and assist you in getting the financial compensation you deserve if you are affected with the re-opening of Sterigenics. You can be assured that we at Dalimonte Rueb Stoller LLP are still your go-to guys even in this national health crisis. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today at (404) 800-2000 to get a free non-obligatory case evaluation. Let us fight for you!