For cancer patients living in Athens, Texas, findings released by the Environmental Protection Agency may shed some light on the potential cause of their illness.
The EPA has determined that exposure to a chemical called ethylene oxide (EtO) in the area surrounding the Steritec, Inc. commercial sterilizing facility has resulted in an elevated cancer risk in the Athens community.
In fact, the Steritec facility is among the 23 commercial sterilizers in the country associated with the greatest increases in lifetime cancer risk from EtO.
Now, cancer patients and their families are moving forward with EtO lawsuits against facilities in Athens, TX, and elsewhere that have been found to produce dangerous levels of emissions of cancer-causing EtO. You, too, could be entitled to financial compensation for the costs you have incurred because of cancer and the numerous ways your illness has impacted your life.
Moving forward with a claim is easy and risk-free, and it will cost you nothing upfront. For your free, confidential case review, call Console & Associates, P.C. today at (866) 778-5500 or complete our online form.
In the EtO lawsuits currently moving forward against commercial sterilizers like Steritec, Inc. and other facilities that use ethylene oxide, the injuries for which plaintiffs are seeking money damages are associated with long-term exposure. Being continually exposed to EtO in the air you breathe over a long period, the EPA determined, contributes to a higher lifetime cancer risk.
Two main factors affect the extent to which exposure to ethylene oxide gas in the air increases your lifetime cancer risk:
For that reason, the people most at risk of developing cancer because of ethylene oxide air pollution surrounding the Athens, TX, Steritec, Inc. facility include the following:
In particular, children and people who lived in close proximity to the Athens, TX, Steritec plant during childhood are at risk. That’s because, the EPA reported, children’s growing bodies are more susceptible to the damaging effects of ethylene oxide exposure.
If you fit into any of the categories above and have been diagnosed with cancer, consider speaking with an experienced EtO lawsuit attorney. If you haven’t been diagnosed with cancer, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor about ethylene oxide exposure. Your doctor can help you understand your risk, recommend any screening tests you should undergo, and educate you about any symptoms that could indicate the early stages of a form of cancer linked to EtO exposure.
Ethylene oxide, or EtO, is the name of a colorless and typically odorless gas used most commonly in commercial sterilization and chemical manufacturing.
At the Steritec, Inc. facility in Athens, Texas, ethylene oxide is used to sterilize medical devices and equipment.
We are here to help.
Inhaling EtO in the air is carcinogenic to humans, the EPA has concluded. In fact, only relatively recently—in late 2016—did it become clear just how significantly exposure to air polluted with ethylene oxide emissions affects lifetime cancer risk.
“EtO is 60 times more toxic than the previous estimate,” the EPA reported.
Unfortunately, there’s currently no way to separate the value of EtO as a sterilizing agent from the cancer-causing effects the chemical may have on humans. That’s because the mechanism by which EtO sterilized medical devices and equipment, spices, cosmetics, and other products is the same mechanism by which it causes harm.
“The ability of ethylene oxide to damage DNA makes it an effective sterilizing agent but also accounts for its cancer-causing activity,” the National Cancer Institute reported. These damaged cells divide and multiply in the body.
Damage to the DNA of cells is what causes cancer, the National Cancer Institute reported.
In particular, there is strong scientific evidence to support a link between exposure to EtO and certain types of cancer. The kinds of cancer most closely associated with ethylene oxide inhalation, according to the EPA, are:
To learn more about cancer diagnoses linked to Ethylene Oxide exposure, check out this resource.
The Steritec, Inc. commercial medical device sterilization facility located at 1705 Enterprise Street in Athens, TX, is one of around 100 facilities nationwide that use EtO. Unfortunately, though, it’s one of the 23 commercial sterilizers that the EPA identified in 2022 as contributing to an elevated lifetime cancer risk in the surrounding community.
The 30,000-square-foot facility encompasses four sterilizers. Together, these sterilizers use a total of 214,620 pounds of ethylene oxide each year, the EPA reported.
The Steritec, Inc. facility has been in operation in Athens, Texas, since 1989. For people living in the area, that’s decades of exposure to potentially dangerous levels of ethylene oxide that, we now know, could contribute to an increased risk of cancer.
Know your legal options.
Hundreds of cancer patients are now moving forward with legal claims arising out of toxic exposure to ethylene oxide.
Through these lawsuits, cancer patients (and their families) can recover financial compensation for damages such as:
Cancer patients have the best prognosis when they can afford the best medical care available for their condition. In this way, pursuing an EtO lawsuit can have a positive effect on your health.
Additionally, patients who have a history of cancer may require further medical monitoring or treatment in the future. These projected medical expenses, too, can be part of the damages for which you seek compensation in an EtO injury lawsuit.
To be able to pursue a claim against the Steritec, Inc. commercial sterilizer, you would generally need to have both of the following:
In some of the most tragic cases, the cancer patient doesn’t survive the disease. Bereaved family members may also have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim arising out of cancer that they believe resulted from EtO exposure.
Personal injury lawsuits that arise out of toxic chemical exposure aren’t simple claims. Successfully getting compensation in matters like this requires a thorough understanding of the legal system.
You need to know how to take on a large company that may fight to avoid liability. You need to understand the legal requirements to prove the harms associated with ethylene oxide exposure, which often means bringing in expert witnesses to support your claims. To get the maximum compensation, you also need to calculate the full extent of your damages. That means knowing all the types of harms and losses recognized under the law and how much money you’re entitled to for these damages.
In other words, you’re going to want an ethylene oxide lawsuit lawyer on your side.
A cancer battle can pose such a huge financial burden that hiring an experienced attorney to handle your EtO exposure lawsuit may seem impossible. That’s why the EtO cancer attorneys at Console & Associates, P.C. represent all of our clients on a no-win, no-fee basis.
If you choose us to represent you in your EtO cancer lawsuit, you’ll pay nothing unless and until we succeed in getting monetary compensation for you. We’ll handle every aspect of your legal claim, so you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family.