If you were diagnosed with cancer after having lived near or worked in the Cosmed Group, Inc. sterilization plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, this may not be a coincidence. The Erie, PA, Cosmed Group sterilization facility is one of 23 commercial sterilizers the Environmental Protection Agency has identified as presenting an elevated lifetime risk of cancer.
Hundreds of lawsuits are now moving forward against companies and facilities that have exposed communities to the cancer-causing chemical ethylene oxide (EtO). To get your questions answered and your case reviewed at no cost, call Console & Associates, P.C. today at (866) 778-5500 or complete our online form to speak with an attorney about your ethylene oxide lawsuit.
More than 100 commercial sterilization facilities use EtO. However, 23 of these plants, in particular, have been linked to a statistically meaningful increase in the risk of developing certain forms of cancer. Among these facilities is the Cosmed Group LLC/Erie sterilization facility located at 2205 E 33rd Street in Erie, PA.
The Erie Cosmed sterilization facility wasn’t just on the list of the 23 sterilizers the EPA identified as posing an elevated cancer risk—it was one of the facilities considered to be at “a higher risk level,” local news source Go Erie reported. The area that surrounds this facility includes residences, businesses, a church, and a daycare center, according to Go Erie.
The Cosmed Erie EtO facility emitted 229 pounds of ethylene oxide, a known human carcinogen, into the air in 2022. Due to the implementation of steps to reduce EtO emissions, like the installation of a wet scrubber and a water balancer/catalytic oxidizer, the facility is expected to emit significantly less of the chemical (173 pounds) in 2023, Go Erie reported in January 2023.
This improvement is good news for the people living near and working in the facility, who face the greatest likelihood of an elevated lifetime cancer risk. In fact, the EPA now considers its 2022 map of the risk area around the Cosmed Erie plant to be out of date due to the declines in the plant’s EtO emissions. Still, as news site Go Erie noted, “questions remain.”
The combination of the ongoing emissions of this carcinogen and the years of higher levels of emissions means that, for some in close proximity to the facility, the damage has already been done.
EtO is a colorless and typically odorless gas made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. When ethylene oxide pollutes the air, people in the vicinity of these facilities breathe it in without ever noticing it’s there.
Despite its cancer-causing properties, ethylene oxide is used in chemical manufacturing and commercial sterilization. At the Cosmed Erie, PA, facility, ethylene oxide is used for sterilizing medical devices.
We are here to help.
Exposure to EtO can pose a number of health risks. Among the most serious of these health effects—the ones that have prompted the current wave of ethylene oxide lawsuits—are certain cancers.
The EPA classifies ethylene oxide as a human carcinogen, which means it is known to cause cancer in humans.
Long-term exposure to EtO through inhaling polluted air has been linked to an increase in lifetime cancer risk. Generally speaking, the longer exposure continues and the greater the level of exposure—based on proximity to the facility—the greater an individual’s lifetime cancer risk.
Individuals who are exposed to high levels of EtO during childhood may see a greater risk increase compared to people who were exposed for a comparable amount of time as adults. This is because, the EPA reported, “children may be more susceptible to the health effects of EtO exposure.”
EtO is effective at sterilizing medical devices and other items because it can damage DNA, but this same property is what causes the chemical to raise lifetime cancer risk among individuals exposed to it long-term, the National Cancer Institute reported.
The EPA uses the term “mutagenic” to describe this property. Exposure to a mutagenic chemical, like EtO, can cause changes or mutations in previously healthy, normal cells.
Researchers haven’t yet established an exhaustive list of cancers and other health conditions that can result from toxic exposure to ethylene oxide. However, the existing body of scientific research has demonstrated links between EtO exposure and certain types of cancer.
Certain types of cancers have given rise to most of the hundreds of ethylene oxide injury lawsuits currently in progress.
Considerable evidence supports the link between long-term EtO exposure and the following forms of cancer:
Learn more about cancer diagnoses linked to ethylene oxide exposure.
Know your legal options.
It’s unacceptable that a company has caused you to develop an increased risk of cancer by exposing you to carcinogenic ethylene oxide. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you may have the grounds to seek compensation through an ethylene oxide exposure lawsuit.
Our experienced EtO toxic exposure attorneys are now investigating ethylene oxide exposure lawsuits on behalf of workers and nearby residents of Cosmed Group/Medical MFG in Erie, PA.
To have a claim, you generally need to meet two criteria:
The greater your exposure to ethylene oxide emitted by the Cosmed Group Erie, PA, facility, the stronger your claim. We especially urge cancer patients and their families to explore their legal options if they lived within a few miles of the facility or were employed at the sterilizer for years.
The only way to know for sure if you have a case is to reach out to attorneys handling ethylene oxide lawsuits, like Console & Associates. Through a free, confidential consultation, we’ll gather the information needed to conduct an investigation at no charge, answer your questions, and help you understand your legal rights and options. It’s up to you whether you move forward with any potential claim you may have—and if you choose us to represent you in your claim, you’ll pay nothing upfront for our legal services.
The legal claims process consists of numerous stages and encompasses a variety of legal documents, filings, and proceedings. When you put your Cosmed Group Erie ethylene oxide lawsuit in the hands of an experienced attorney, you pass off the demands of the legal system to someone who is uniquely qualified to meet them.
We’ll handle everything, including:
Through your Erie, PA, ethylene oxide sterilization plant lawsuit, we will seek compensation on your behalf for all of the harms and losses you have suffered as a result of developing cancer.
This includes economic damages like the medical expenses you have incurred so far and the projected future medical costs for tests and treatments your medical team expects you to need at a later date, as well as lost wages and decreases in future earning potential. It also includes non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. In wrongful death claims brought by surviving family members over the cancers their deceased loved ones had developed, damages may also include funeral expenses and loss of a spouse’s companionship or a parent’s guidance and nurturing.
Moving forward with an ethylene oxide cancer lawsuit doesn’t have to burden your family financially. We know that a cancer battle is stressful enough as it is, so our EtO exposure attorneys represent all of our clients on a no-win, no-fee basis.