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Lake County, Ill. — Village of Gurnee, City of Waukegan, and Lake County Health Department officials have completed preliminary plans for outdoor air quality monitoring for ethylene oxide (EtO) near Vantage Specialty Chemicals in Gurnee and Medline Industries in Waukegan.
Based on recommendations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the preliminary plan includes one vendor being hired to collect air quality samples from four sites near Vantage and four sites near Medline. Samples will be collected at two additional remote sites to provide background levels of EtO. Samples will be collected every third day for one month. The number and placement of sampling sites, as well as the frequency and duration of sampling, will follow U.S. EPA protocol to assure that the results can be utilized for health risk assessment.
On March 26, 2019, Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister formally petitioned the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to conduct a health risk assessment based on the outdoor air sampling results. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will be requested to complete a cancer incidence assessment similar to the Willowbrook report released March 29, 2019.
In order for sampling to begin by June 1, 2019, contracts for the ambient air monitoring are expected to be considered by Village of Gurnee and City of Waukegan by the first week of May. Once a vendor is hired, the Health Department will provide project management and support.