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EPA Cites Cosmed of Illinois for Clean Air Violations

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 filed an administrative complaint against Cosmed of Illinois for alleged clean-air violations at its medical equipment sterilization plant in Waukegan, Ill. EPA proposed a $132,000 penalty.

"We're alleging Cosmed of Illinois violated national emissions standards for the hazardous air pollutant ethylene oxide, which is used to sterilize medical products," said Steve Rothblatt, acting director of the regional Air and Radiation Division.

EPA contends the company failed to test its emissions control equipment to see that it was working properly, install a continuous emissions monitoring system and keep records documenting compliance with emissions standards.

Cosmed filed an answer to the complaint and requested a hearing. EPA and Cosmed are scheduling a meeting to discuss the allegations and how to resolve them.

Exposure to ethylene oxide can cause irritation of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes, as well as brain and nerve function problems.

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