Ethylene Oxide Update #27: December 12, 2019
In this update:
- November 4 – 17, 2019 monitoring results received.
- Higher readings were recorded at two locations on November 13/14, 2019, specifically at site V2 (SE corner of Northwestern & Keith) at 8.86 ug/m3 (4.91ppb) and at site V1 (Spaulding School) at 5.29 ug/m3 (2.93ppb).
- On November 16th/17, the V2 site had a recording of 0.05 ug/m3 (0.0293ppb) and the V1 site was at 0.23 ug/m3 (0.125ppb).
- On November 16/17, the wind currents were recorded as blowing towards site V5 (36016 N. Delany), which registered a recorded reading at 0.27 ug/m3 (0.150ppb).
- Meeting set for January 12, 2020 at the Warren Newport Public Library to discuss the UIC School of Public Health blood sampling study results.
- Construction Updates at Vantage facility:
- Continuous monitoring equipment on emission stack has been installed and will be operational during the week of December 16th.
- Work to reduce components that may result in fugitive emissions continues.
The following developments and communications have occurred since the last formal Village update provided on November 26, 2019:
Village of Gurnee/City of Waukegan/Lake County Health Department: The Lake County Health Department has received the second set of results from Phase II of ethylene oxide (EtO) air monitoring. This set of samples include the collection of five separate days from November 4th to November 17, 2019. Preliminary results were communicated to the Village on Wednesday, December 11th. Four samples exceeded average background readings previously recorded (the USEPA has stated background levels are 0.2 to 0.4 ug/m3). Upon receiving the preliminary results, the Village immediately contacted representatives of the Gurnee School District 56 and Vantage to report these figures. Representatives from the Village and Lake County Health Department conducted additional discussions with Vantage to request information regarding the increased recorded readings that occurred on November 13/14, 2019 at sites V1 and V2. Vantage has advised that the continuous monitoring equipment scheduled to become operational during the week of December 16, 2019, will provide the company with the ability to detect the occurrence of any increased readings in real time or as the event occurs. Vantage also advised it will conduct a review of the information provided regarding the increased readings and that implementation of additional emission reduction measures is on schedule.
The results of the testing can be viewed at: https://www.lakecountyil.gov/4188/EtO-Monitoring-Results
The spreadsheet of all results is available at: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mrY1MbFWUT5-ysl7SpD74CKMKOMo4x9i5wZAArdYJ2k/edit#gid=623390509
Phase II of the air monitoring is set to continue through January 2020 and is being funded by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Center of Disease Control/Illinois Department of Public Health/UIC School of Public Health: As reported in the Village’s August 14, 2019 update, the University of Illinois at Chicago recruited participants for a study related to EtO. The study involved questionnaires and collection of blood samples from approximately 100 individuals living near the Medline and Vantage facilities. A meeting to discuss the results will be held on January 12, 2020 from 2:30- 3:30 p.m. at the Warren-Newport Public Library, 224 N. O’Plaine Rd, Gurnee, Illinois. Dr. Susan Buchanan, who led the study, will be in attendance to share the findings. According to the information shared to date, residents living immediately northeast of Medline facility (within .56 miles) had an average EtO hemoglobin adduct level significantly higher than participants living further away. Those living near the Vantage facility did not show significantly higher levels. An article related to the study has been posted at: https://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20191209/blood-tests-show-exposure-to-ethylene-oxide
Vantage Specialty Chemical: Vantage Specialty Chemical has completed the installation of continuous monitoring equipment on its emissions stack. The equipment will be operational the week of December 16th. Vantage also continues to review and reduce components that may result in fugitive emissions. In conjunction with the US EPA and monitoring specialists, Vantage continues to improve its Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) program and associated fugitive emissions monitoring and measurement. Vantage has stated it has met the requirements outlined in Public Act 101-0023 (SB1854). A statement from Vantage regarding the continuous monitoring equipment and the second round of Phase II monitoring results is available at: https://www.vantagegrp.com/en-US/General/Page/e70eaaea-6ddf-4e86-9622-99658b0aa167/Gurnee-Community-Update
You can find additional information on ethylene oxide and follow all updates from the Village of Gurnee on the topic here: www.gurnee.il.us/EtO