Ethylene Oxide Exposure in Jackson, Missouri

If you lived or worked near Midwest Sterilization Corporation (MSC) in Jackson, Missouri and were diagnosed with blood cancer, breast cancer, or another type of cancer or health condition, you may be entitled to compensation.

The Jackson MSC facility has been identified by the EPA as one of several commercial sterilizers in the nation to pose the highest risks of cancer to nearby communities due to its release of ethylene oxide (EtO), a cancer-causing gas.

As a firm with extensive experience litigating toxic exposure claims and issues impacting public health, Levy Konigsberg now represents a growing number of victims across the country who’ve developed cancers and other illnesses because of their exposure to harmful levels of EtO. If you have questions about a potential ethylene oxide lawsuit related to the Jackson, MO MSC facility, we want to help.

For a FREE consultation, call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online.

EtO Exposure at the Midwest Sterilization Corporation Facility in Jackson, MO

Midwest Sterilization Corporation is a facility located at 1204 Lenco Avenue, Jackson, MO.

According to the EPA, the MSC facility has been in operation at its location on Lenco Ave. since 1999. Like other commercial sterilization facilities, the Jackson, MO MSC plant sterilizes medical devices using ethylene oxide, a fumigant gas that has been identified as a likely cause of cancer for people who live or work near areas where it is present in the air.

In 2018, the Jackson, MO plant emitted more than 7,000 pounds of EtO.

More About EtO Exposure

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a colorless, odorless gas used by commercial sterilization facilities like the MSC plant to treat medical devices, spices, and other consumer products that can’t be sterilized with steam.

The EPA has known that exposure to ethylene oxide could cause cancer in humans since 1985, but studies and investigations conducted over recent years have revealed just how dangerous environmental EtO exposure can be for communities near these plants. For example:

  • In 2006, the EPA updated its findings to designate EtO as a known carcinogen to humans and in 2016 updated the cancer-causing potential of EtO by 60x.
  • In 2020, the EPA published a Draft Risk Assessment which found that “inhaling Ethylene Oxide over many decades can cause cancer risks of concern.” Other important findings from the assessment were that:
    • Long-term EtO exposure was correlated with higher risks of breast cancer and blood cancers, including myeloma, lymphocytic leukemia, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
    • EtO exposure is most concerning for young children, as the gas can damage DNA and make children more likely to develop cancer later in life.
    • In addition to cancer, chronic EtO exposure can also lead to impaired motor function, nerve damage, cognitive impairments, reproductive harm, and other physical and neurological symptoms.

For people who live, work, or attend school in neighborhoods and areas near the Jackson, MO MSC plant, the EPA’s findings have become a significant source of concern – especially as the EPA has identified that inhaling EtO in the air as the most dangerous route of exposure.

In the years following these findings and other investigations by regulators and environmental watchdogs, people in communities affected by EtO emissions have begun filing lawsuits against sterilizers they claim to be responsible for their cancers. While many cases are still pending, one case – filed by a woman who developed breast cancer after living near a sterilization facility in Illinois – resulted in a $363 million jury award for the plaintiff in September 2022.

Learn more about EtO exposure and ethylene oxide lawsuits.

EtO Emissions & Cancer Risks in Jackson, MO

As part of increased efforts to understand health risks posed by sterilization plants that use EtO, the EPA conducted a risk assessment of facilities and nearby communities in 2022. The Jackson, MO MSC plant was one of those facilities.

Here are some important findings from that assessment:

  • The MSC facility in Jackson had the second highest EtO emissions in the country.
  • A map of the EPA’s estimates of lifetime cancer risks from EtO near the Jackson plant shows that there is an estimated 2,000 in a million or greater cancer risk from breathing air near the facility. This means that if 1 million people were exposed to this level of EtO for a period of years, 2,000 people would be expected to develop cancer from the exposure.
  • The EPA held a series of Community Meetings to help residents of Jackson understand risks posed by the plant. These meetings noted that workers at the plants, as well as workers at nearby businesses, are also exposed to higher levels of EtO.

Because of the risks identified in the EPA’s risk assessment, the EPA has partnered with Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources to verify compliance with permits and install additional pollution controls in the Jackson plant. This included implementing new controls and equipment intended to reduce certain types of emissions. While these controls limit current emissions, the risk of cancer as a result of historic emissions remains elevated.[ZR1]

Do I Have a Case?

Given that the Jackson, MO MSC facility is one of the worst facilities in the nation in terms of cancer risks caused by EtO emissions, people who live or work in and around the plant face elevated risks of developing cancers and other serious health conditions because of their exposure.

You may have grounds to pursue legal action and financial compensation for your losses if you or someone you love were diagnosed with cancer or another health condition and:

  • Lived near Midwest Sterilization Corp. in Jackson;
  • Worked at Midwest Sterilization Corp; or
  • Lived or worked in Jackson, MO.

Our attorneys at Levy Konigsberg have carefully reviewed the EPA’s research into the dangers of EtO emissions from commercial sterilizers and the community cancer risks identified in the agency’s latest risk assessment. We can evaluate your potential case, where you lived or worked, and whether you may be entitled to compensation during a consultation.

Call For a FREE Consultation: (800) 315-3806

Levy Konigsberg is a U.S. News “Best Law Firms” rated trial practice with a reputation for taking on some of the nation’s toughest claims. Backed by a team of award-winning lawyers, we’ve recovered over $3 billion in compensation for clients in cases involving toxic exposure, asbestos and mesothelioma, lead contamination, and other complex litigation.

Our team is actively working with EtO exposure victims who lived and worked near sterilization plants across the country and is available to speak with anyone in the Jackson, MO area who has questions about the MSC facility and their legal options.

For a FREE and confidential consultation, contact us today. Levy Konigsberg is a nationwide practice that works on contingency. This means there’s no cost to hire our firm and no fee unless we win.


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