Hazardous Air Pollutants: Ethylene Oxide (EtO)
Proposed Actions to Reduce Ethylene Oxide Risks
EPA is proposing new health protections to reduce exposure to EtO including more stringent air emissions standards and additional protections for workers.
Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a colorless gas used to make other chemicals that are used in making a range of products, including antifreeze, textiles, plastics, detergents and adhesives. EtO also is used to sterilize equipment and plastic devices that cannot be sterilized by steam, such as medical equipment. EtO use can contribute to increased cancer risk. EPA is committed to reducing this risk by taking action to protect communities, workers in commercial sterilization, and others who might be at increased risk from EtO when it is used to sterilize things.