SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In one of her first votes as a new member of the Illinois General Assembly, state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, is working to protect families from cancer-causing chemicals that are being released into the air by reckless companies by passing legislation stopping the use of ethylene oxide (EtO) through the Illinois House.
“This is commonsense legislation that puts the health and well-being of people first,” said LaPointe. “Phasing out EtO over time is clearly something Illinois must do, as the health risks are far too high. Outlawing this dangerous chemical from high-density communities is the right and best thing to do.”
LaPointe supported House Bill 3888, which requires companies that use EtO for any reason to submit their emission data to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and further requires hospitals to eventually phase-out EtO sterilization. Her bill would establish the highest-in-the-nation standards for EtO use.
Earlier this year, EtO user Sterigenics was forced to stop production at a facility in Willowbrook because of a failure to meet specific environmental regulations. EtO has been identified as a level-one carcinogen, with recent studies suggested that proximity to EtO increases an individual’s chances of being diagnosed with cancer, and local scrutiny from neighborhood groups eventually led to pressure to close the facility.
“Illinois must continue to craft policies that do not put people or the environment in harm’s way,” said LaPointe. “I will always fight to protect my community and Illinois families from harmful chemicals and continue to work on legislation that protects our environment.”
LaPointe represents the 19th District, which covers portions of Chicago’s Big Oaks, Dunning, Gladstone Park, Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Union Ridge and West Portage Park neighborhoods, and River Grove, Elmwood Park, Norridge and Harwood Heights.