Assembly Member Santiago Urges South Coast AQMD, Cal/OSHA to Shut Down Sterigenics

For immediate release:

(Los Angeles, CA) With reports of toxic emissions endanging worker and community health, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D- Los Angeles) is urging the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) and California Division of Occiupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) to immediately shut down and investigate Sterigenics International, Inc. (Sterigenics) in Vernon California.

“We must shut down and investigate Sterigenics immediately to fight the pollution poisoning our workers and communities,” said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago. “That’s why I’ve called upon South Coast AQMD and Cal/OSHA to shut down and investigate Sterigenics. We need swift action to protect the health of our workers and the community from the toxic air pollution.”

In April, South Coast AQMD began monitoring the ambient air near the Sterigenics facilities in Vernon and detected elevated concentrations of Ethylene Oxide (EtO). Exposure to EtO can cause irritation to the eyes and respiratory system, as well as headaches, weakness, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and other impacts. Long-term exposure to EtO increases the risk of certain cancers, including lymphoid and breast cancer. EtO emissions are reportedly escaping Sterigenics’s air pollution control equipment and are flowing into the company’s building and outside to the nearby industrial area, causing potential increased toxic exposure for both Sterigenics’s employees, off-site workers, and surrounding communities.

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committees on Public Safety, Health, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.