May 17, 2022

Hahn Urges Temporary Shut Down of Carcinogen Emitting Facility in Vernon

Los Angeles, CA — Today, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn sent a letter to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) urging them to require the Sterigenics facilities in the City of Vernon to immediately cease all ethylene oxide-emitting operations until they come into compliance with air quality regulations.

On May 5, 2022, the SCAQMD issued a Proposition 65 notice regarding high levels of ethylene oxide “likely to affect public health and safety near the Sterigenics facilities.” Ethlyene oxide is a known carcinogen and chronic long-term exposure can cause damage to the brain and nervous system and is used by the facility to sterilize medical equipment.

“Testing shows ethylene oxide levels have been elevated since late April, but we don’t know how long these emissions have been elevated before testing started,” said Supervisor Hahn. “Maywood residents live just 500 feet away from this facility. This is the same community that has already suffered the impacts of lead contamination from Exide, metal emissions from a magnesium chemical fire, and the cumulative impacts of living near freeways and other industrial facilities. I understand that the SCAQMD continues to investigate this important matter and is rolling out a more robust community air monitoring plan. However, we cannot risk the health and safety of our residents while these investigations are underway.”

Read full letter here.

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