Some state lawmakers want to phase out the use of ethylene oxide

Illinois capitol building
Some state lawmakers want to phase out the use of ethylene oxide. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Some state lawmakers want to phase out the use of ethylene oxide from most places where it is used now. They announced at a Chicago news conference a new bill which they want passed in the upcoming fall veto session.

It’s part of the response to many illnesses – some fatal – of people who live near a sterilization plant in Willowbrook, Sterigenics.

“House Bill 3888 prohibits the emissions of ethylene oxide for our largest emitters near highly populated areas, schools, and day cares by 2021,” says sponsor State Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan), who lives near another emitter, Medline, in Waukegan. “For hospitals, it prohibits emissions by 2022.”

“Based on the proposed legislation, we do not believe that Sterigenics will be able to reopen,” said Maggie Donnell of Stop Sterigenics. “The mayor has stated he is doing everything in his power to ensure that they do not reopen.”

Dave Dahl can be reached at News@wjbc.com.

Blogs

Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…