Our border city – Laredo, TX – is facing a public health threat from cancer-causing emissions from a commercial sterilizer facility. The facility is owned by Midwest Sterilization Corp. and emits a chemical called ethylene oxide (EtO), which the EPA has linked to numerous cancers and other health issues.
TCEQ isn’t coming to help us.
Midwest isn’t going to help us.
We need the EPA to help us in this David v. Goliath battle that our South Texas community is fighting against a well-funded industry to protect our public health and our air.
For years people in our neighborhoods have wondered why they are experiencing cancer and respiratory illnesses.
We didn’t have an answer until we found out that our city is home to what ProPublica calls “the most toxic commercial sterilizer in the country.”
Midwest Sterilization Corp. opened its doors in 2005 and unknown to most of the population quickly became the largest user and emitter of this dangerous chemical in the United States.
They’re allowed to use 2.5 million pounds of EtO per year – more than double the next largest facility in the country. They’re releasing unknown amounts of emissions into our air every year.
Our community already suffers from not having access to medical care and health insurance and the Texas Department of State Health Services has found that the census tracts closest to the Midwest facility have rates of cancers – associated with breathing EtO – at significantly higher rates than the rest of Texas.
This is unacceptable. This must change.
We’ve asked the company to change its business practices, so that Laredoans aren’t threatened by cancer for the simple act of breathing air.
We’ve asked TCEQ to help the people of Laredo by forcing this company to reduce its emissions. We are being ignored.
We need the EPA to step up and work with the Clean Air Laredo Coalition to develop a written plan that protects our families and children from this cancer-causing chemical.