B. Braun is facing a lawsuit from a man alleging that he was exposed to a dangerous chemical known as ethylene oxide (EtO). In March of 2020, a man in Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against B. Braun medical claiming that the company “has consistently emitted, on average, 5,000 pounds of carcinogenic ethylene oxide from its (Hanover) facility over the last decade. In 2009 alone, B. Braun emitted 8,960 pounds of EtO.”
This federal lawsuit is also seeking certification as a class action, and this could result in a significant number of claims being filed against B. Braun Medical.
If you believe you have been exposed to ethylene oxide, you can contact our Pennsylvania ethylene oxide exposure attorney for a free consultation.
What is ethylene oxide?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, ethylene oxide is a flammable and colorless gas used to make chemicals that are used to create a range of products, including textiles, plastics, detergents, adhesives, and antifreeze. Ethylene oxide is also used to sterilize plastic devices and equipment that cannot be sterilized by using steam, usually medical equipment. According to the EPA, the agency recently updated its risk value for ethylene oxide and they are currently working with the industry as well as state, local, and tribal air agencies throughout the United States to address this chemical.
Ethylene oxide is a known carcinogen in humans, and it can be absorbed into the body through inhalation. In large quantities, ethylene oxide can damage cells and destroy DNA. If enough cells are destroyed due to ethylene oxide, various cancers can form. Ethylene oxide gas has been linked to the following:
- Blood disorders
- Stomach cancer
- Testicular damage
- Kidney damage
- Kidney cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Lung cancer
- Brain tumors
According to data from the EPA, ethylene oxide gas can remain in the air for as much as 149 days in cold weather or up to 69 days in warmer, more humid weather.
Ethylene oxide exposure in Bethlehem and Allentown, PA
The Environmental Protection Agency’s National Air Toxic Assessment (NATA) found that there was a high concentration of ethylene oxide in the Bethlehem and Allentown areas of Pennsylvania. The EPA states that some residents in these areas are at higher risk of cancer. The alleged source of the ethylene oxide contamination has been identified as the B. Braun Medical facility.
B. Braun uses ethylene oxide to sterilize medical supplies and equipment. When this equipment is sterilized, significant amounts of ethylene oxide are released into the atmosphere. This gas can linger in the air around the surrounding communities for weeks or months at a time.
Securing justice for those exposed ethylene oxide
If you or somebody you care about lives or works in Allentown or Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, you may have been exposed to dangerous amounts of ethylene oxide. This type of pollution can significantly affect your health as well as your property value. At the Ciccarelli Law Offices, our qualified and experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers are ready to investigate these cases and help any person who may have been exposed to ethylene oxide in or around Allentown and Bethlehem. We are dedicated to helping those who have been harmed due to the actions of B. Braun Medical. You can contact our Pennsylvania ethylene oxide exposure attorney for a free consultation of your case by clicking here to calling 215-228-0100.