ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — The Environmental Protection Agency has documented elevated lifetime cancer cases in the vicinity of an industrial facility in Ardmore.

The Lemco plant at 3204 Hale Road uses a chemical called ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment and other related materials.

While ethylene oxide has industrial benefits, the EPA says its emissions are known to cause cancer. The agency published a map that illustrates elevated lifetime cancer risks near the Lemco plant earlier this week.

Map illustrates area of elevated cancer risk in the vicinity of the Lemco facility on Hale Road in Ardmore.


The busy intersection of U.S. Highway 70 and South Commerce Street is included in that footprint.

The Carter County Health Department is working with the EPA and other health departments to monitor and evaluate the situation.

"As this develops, of course we're in contact with the state office and our neighboring districts," said Chris Munn with the Oklahoma State Department of Health. "If there's some kind of assistance that's needed, we'll be able to reach out and get that."

The EPA said it will monitor and address the situation in Ardmore, as well as other industrial sites across the nation with ethylene oxide emissions.

The agency said it is planning a community meeting in the September-October time frame to address concerns from Ardmoreites. Click to visit the EPA website for more information about ethylene oxide and to register for the meeting.