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Bad Business Etiquette: Let Locals Breathe

A suburban business in Chicago is under scrutiny for implementation of a system in which the way the business allegedly sterilized caused emissions of a cancer-causing substance. The operational facility provides sterilization services to the medical, pharmaceutical and food industries.  Ironically, the health damage by its emissions cause might make locals worse off.

Consequently, a change was made to equipment that was being used had been installed.  Governor Bruce Rauner then, eventually, requested closing the plant completely which was also co-owned by his former private equity firm.  It was not looking good on him and locals were very angry.  Whether or not, and the type of action that would have been taken in circumstances, but for, that situation are not known. Local politicians added pressure and since we are dealing with cancer, people are not taking this issue lightly at all.

Right now, as it stands, the Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, believed that further investigations of air quality with analysis by experts would be necessary in order to make a case.  Perhaps, the one-off situation is not enough to gauge that there has been negligence or any breach that is substantial.  This would constitute as information that only a state or federal Environmental Protection Agency would be able to give in such circumstances.

It was the likelihood of the emissions ranged from “probably carcinogenic” to “carcinogenic to humans,” that became grounds for tests to be expedited.  It is speculated that the new system is less harmful, but can the damage be reversed?  Even a reduction by 90 percent cannot do much to whatever is out there in the atmosphere.  These issues are problematic, affect multiple residents’ health and will require in-depth investigation.  A school is even within the vicinity of impact.  If a class action arises, this will be one not taken lightly.

Emissions have been taking place since around 1980 and other potential health risks are breast cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma.  For those reasons, it was also proposed that the Illinois Department of Public Health research to see if elevated cases of cancer in the population near the facility did exist or not. That would lead to there being sufficient nexus required. The report further went to say that, “If measured and modeled data represent typical EtO ambient concentrations in ambient air, an elevated cancer risk exists for residents and off-site workers in the Willowbrook community surrounding the Sterigenics facility. These evaluated risks present a public health hazard to these populations.”

Elections are around the corner.  The plant is temporarily shut.  People are angry.  However, pleadings cannot be speculative.  Proof of evidence and investigations are required.

Regardless, this is allegedly bad business ethics.  A reputation in business takes time and once that is lost, even that cannot be recovered. That is why having a reliance on Counsel for compliance and working knowledge of what business practice aspects may be subject to scrutiny is important.  This will vary from business to business.  An assessment or brief overview is a must.  It will save the costs and headaches of violations and lawsuits that could possibly arise.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-bruce-rauner-sterigenics-shutdown-20181002-story.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/burr-ridge/news/ct-dhd-sterigenics-d86-tl-0913-story.html

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