Our Work

Ethylene oxide

Concerns about exposure to ethylene oxide arose after a 2018 ATSDR report was published stating that Sterigenics, Willowbrook, Illinois commercial sterilizer that uses ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment and other products, was emitting levels of ethylene oxide that could be harmful to public health. A 2019 non-randomized study led by Center staff examined ethylene oxide hemoglobin adduct levels in blood of people living near Medline Industries Inc., a Waukegan, Illinois-based manufacturer of medical equipment using ethylene oxide to sterilize surgical supplies and Vantage, Inc., a Chicago-area chemical production plant. The convenience sample indicated residents living closer to the Medline facility had higher blood levels of the carcinogen than those living further away.

COVID-19 and air pollution

Chicago-based environmental and worker support groups reached out to Region 5 PEHSU members and affiliated faculty with requests for information related to COVID-19.  Dr. Susan Buchanan was interviewed by South Side Weekly on a large-scale air contamination event during the pandemic following the demolition of the Crawford Generating Station.

Read the story

Environmental advocacy