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EPA: Sterigenics Tests On Ethylene Oxide May Be Misleading

CHICAGO (CBS)-- The EPA says tests, regarding a Willowbrook company, may have overstated the amount of ethylene oxide being emitted into the air.

Previous testing revealed the company Sterigenics sterilizes media equipment using the chemical ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen.

Wednesday, the EPA announced that the testing process for the dangerous drug is flawed and another gas can sometimes be mistaken for ethylene oxide. This means tests done for the cancer causing gas, before October of this year may have displayed higher concentrations of the gas than were actually in the air.

In October, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against the company, calling for it to be shut down.

This information sparked concern and fear among residents living in Willowbrook.

Some residents are disappointed with the EPA's announcement and say no amount of this gas is safe for their families to be breathing.

"The day before Thanksgiving they try and bury this and hope that everyone who has been advocating for clean air in our community would be busy making their turkey and they are wrong, not this group of people going away quietly," resident Andrea Thome said.

Sterigenics responded Wednesday night in a statement saying that the public has been subjected to misinformation about the gas, which has caused fear and concern.

Next Thursday the EPA will hold a public meeting to answer questions

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