Peoria native and Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Thome is speaking out about a medical plant under investigation for carcinogenic emissions in his town.
A Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook, Ill. uses ethylene oxide gas to sterilize medical instruments. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency ordered the plant to shut down, pending an investigation into increased cancer risks potentially linked to the plant.
Thome, who moved to Willowbrook with his family several years ago, told WMAQ in Chicago that the plant should shut down permanently. Thome’s family blames the plant for the death of the former slugger’s mother-in-law.
A state Senate committee held a hearing on the plant’s activities Wednesday. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office is also investigating the plant.
Thome was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year.