Queensbury, NY Sterigenics EtO Plant Lawsuits
Ethylene Oxide Exposure in Queensbury and Kingsbury, New York
Levy Konigsberg is reviewing claims from victims who were diagnosed with cancer and other illnesses caused by harmful emissions from Sterigenics US LLC, a medical equipment sterilization plant in in Kingsbury, New York near the Queensbury town line.
The Queensbury, NY Sterigenics facility has been identified by the EPA as one of the country’s most prolific polluters of ethylene oxide (EtO), a colorless, odorless gas known to cause cancer. Because of this facility’s dangerous emissions, people in nearby communities face elevated risks of cancer.
If you lived or worked near Sterigenics US LLC and were diagnosed with blood cancer, breast cancer, or another serious health condition, you may be entitled to compensation.
Levy Konigsberg is a U.S. News “Best Law Firms” ranked trial practice with a reputation for litigating some of the country’s most complex toxic exposure cases. Now, we’re fighting for EtO exposure victims across the country. To request a FREE consultation, call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online.
EtO Emissions from Sterigenics US LLC in Kingsbury, NY
The Queensbury, NY Sterigenics plant (Sterigenics US LLC) is located at 84 Park Road in Kingsbury, NY just outside the Queensbury town line between Warren County and Washington County. It was opened in 1994 and has 11 sterilization chambers.
Like other commercial sterilizers, Sterigenics US LLC uses ethylene oxide (EtO), a fumigant gas known to cause cancer, to sterilize medical supplies, dental equipment, and other products that can’t be sterilized with steam. In 2021, the plant used 157.5 tons of EtO.
The Risks of EtO Exposure in Kingsbury and Queensbury, NY
While the EPA has known since 1985 that ethylene oxide has the potential to cause cancer, it has taken steps to better define just how dangerous exposure can be – especially for nearby communities. In 2006, for example, 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.
Thanks to new studies and ongoing research, the body of evidence linking EtO exposure to cancer and serious health conditions has grown significantly. This includes a November 2020 Draft Risk Assessment published by the EPA in which the agency found that “inhaling Ethylene Oxide over many decades can cause cancer risks of concern.” Other important findings from the assessment:
- Elevated cancer risks. Long-term exposure to ethylene oxide can cause blood cancer (myeloma, lymphocytic leukemia, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) and breast cancer.
- Children most susceptible. Infants and young children face the greatest health risks from ethylene oxide because EtO is mutagenic (damages DNA). Children exposed to EtO are more likely to develop cancer later in life.
- Other health conditions. Chronic exposure to ethylene oxide can cause various physical and neurological symptoms, including impaired coordination, memory problems, nerve damage, and reproductive harm.
For those who live, work, or attend school in the surrounding areas of Kingsbury and Queensbury, EtO emissions from the Sterigenics US LLC facility pose serious health concerns – especially as the EPA has identified airborne EtO as the most concerning form of exposure. Given these findings, many victims have begun filing lawsuits against commercial sterilizers they claim to have caused their cancers.
Learn more about EtO and ethylene oxide lawsuits.
EPA Risk Assessment Identifies Elevated Cancer Risks in Kingsbury and Queensbury Communities
In 2022, the EPA conducted a risk assessment of the country’s currently operating commercial sterilizers (approximately 100 facilities).
In its risk assessment of Sterigenics US LLC, the EPA identified an elevated cancer risk in the nearby communities of Kingsbury and Queensbury due to the facility’s release of EtO. Some other notable findings:
- The EPA identified the area surrounding the Sterigenics US LLC facility as having an elevated cancer risk from hazardous air pollutants.
- Workers at the sterilization plant, as well as children and infants, may face elevated cancer and health risks due to their exposure and susceptibility.
- The EPA estimated that people exposed to EtO from the Kingsbury plant had an estimated lifetime cancer risk of 100/Million or greater 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, 100 people would be expected to develop cancer from the exposure. This is a risk level that regulators consider unacceptable.
The EPA held a series of Community Meetings to help residents of Kingsbury and Queensbury understand the risks posed by the plant. These meetings noted that workers at the plant and other businesses nearby were also exposed to higher levels of EtO, included a map of the affected area, and provided details about what’s being done to reduce emissions. This includes partnerships with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to review new controls, equipment, and processes, as well as an upcoming air toxic risk analysis the facility must perform to renew its permit.
Victims Are Now Filing Claims
Armed with a growing body of scientific evidence, victims who’ve been diagnosed with cancers and other health conditions after living near commercial sterilization facilities like the Sterigenics US LLC plant in Kingsbury, NY have begun filing claims for compensation.
These civil lawsuits have been filed against various sterilization companies, including Sterigenics and several of its facilities across the country. Some have resulted in significant recoveries for victims.
Recent developments in the Sterigenics EtO cancer litigation include:
- On February 16, 2023, the EPA held a community meeting at Kingsbury Volunteer Hose Co. in Hudson Falls to discuss data on ethylene oxide, its emissions rates from the Kingsbury / Queensbury facility, and the cancer risks to the community.
- In December 2022, Sterigenics and its parent company Sotera Health announced that it would pay a $408 million settlement to resolve more than 800 pending EtO-related claims filed against the companies in Illinois. The settlement is still pending but it is a sign that future litigation in other jurisdictions is likely to come.
- In September 2022, a Cook County jury awarded $363 million in damages to an Illinois woman who developed breast cancer from her long-term exposure to EtO emissions from a Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook, IL. The woman had lived several hundred yards from the plant for over 30 years and had no family history of the disease.
Do You Have a Case Against Sterigenics US LLC in Kingsbury?
Given that the Sterigenics US LLC facility regularly emitted dangerous levels of EtO since it opened in the early 1990s, people in the areas of Kingsbury and Queensbury may face elevated risks of developing cancers and other illnesses.
You may have a potential claim if:
- You lived, worked, or went to school in areas of Kingsbury or Queensbury, NY near the Sterigenics US LLC facility; and
- Were diagnosed with blood cancer, breast cancer, or another cancer or health condition.
Call (800) 315-3806 For a FREE Consultation
Levy Konigsberg is a New York-based trial firm known nationally for fighting on behalf of victims harmed by toxic exposure. We’ve handled some of the country’s most high-profile toxic exposure cases, including claims arising from the Flint Water Crisis, and have secured billions in compensation, precedent-setting victories, and important rulings for public health.
If you have questions about a potential Sterigenics Queensbury / Kingsbury plant EtO exposure lawsuit, we want to help. Call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online to request a FREE consultation.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
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