The lawsuit was filed by Gretchen E., a hospital housekeeper who has worked at Stanford Healthcare in Palo Alto, California since September 2017.
As a housekeeper, her job was to disinfect the hospital by wiping down doors, sinks, floors, equipment and more.
She says she developed nose bleeds and acute coughing after her first exposure to OxyCide in 2017. After experiencing severe coughing for a couple months, she was seen by a medical specialist who told her to avoid further exposure to OxyCide.
She complained about her symptoms to management, which is when she learned that other hospital employees were experiencing similar symptoms.
In the lawsuit, she accuses Ecolab of hiding the health risks of OxyCide by insisting that the side effects were similar to other disinfectants, despite hundreds of complaints since 2015.
Furthermore, she says she was harmed despite following Ecolab’s safety instructions while using OxyCide.
“There have been numerous reports of employees developing serious health related issues concerning OxyCide, including difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, burning eyes, burning throat, bronchospasms, and/or vocal cord stridor.”
The lawsuit also cites research finding that continued exposure to the toxic chemical in OxyCide — peracetic acid (PAA) — can result in liver and kidney problems, pulmonary edemas and circulatory problems.
Ecolab is accused of downplaying these risks and causing health problems for hospital employees nationwide. The plaintiff is seeking an injunction to stop Ecolab from selling OxyCide, as well as unspecified damages.
The lawsuit was filed on May 8, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota — In RE: Eadson v. Ecolab, Inc. et al. — Case Number 0:20-cv-01126.