Linden, New Jersey (ETO Sterilization-Plant #2)
ETO Sterilization-Plant #2 is located at 2500 Brunswick Avenue, Linden, NJ. The facility uses ethylene oxide (EtO) to sterilize spices.
EPA scientists and analysts recently completed a risk assessment to understand the impact of EtO emissions from the ETO Sterilization-Plant #2 facility. As part of this risk assessment, we used the most recent available information about how much EtO the company emits into the air and we modeled estimated cancer risks to people living nearby. The risk assessment identified elevated cancer risk in the Linden community. EPA is committed to working with state and local agencies, facilities, and communities to reduce this risk.
This risk information is current as of July 27, 2022. If EPA receives new data, we will update this information. The risk information is based on EPA’s latest modeling of EtO emissions from this facility. We are continuing to collect and verify information about this facility and its emissions. If there are updates to EtO emissions or the systems in place at the facility, there may be a resulting update to the risk information.
ETO Sterilization-Plant #2
This map shows EPA’s estimates of lifetime cancer risks from EtO near ETO Sterilization-Plant #2 in Linden, NJ. As you can see from the map risk decreases with distance from the facility.
The area in blue shows estimated lifetime cancer risks of 100 in a million or greater from breathing air containing EtO emitted from the facility (or the same as 1 additional cancer case in 10,000 people). A lifetime cancer risk of 100 in a million means that, if 1 million people were exposed to this level of EtO in the air 24 hours a day for 70 years, 100 people would be expected to develop cancer from that exposure.
The area in dark blue on the map shows that EtO exposure could contribute to a maximum increased risk level of 20 cancer cases if 10,000 people were exposed for 70 years (or 2,000 in 1 million). EPA cannot predict whether an individual person will develop cancer.
For this risk assessment, we looked at excess cancer risk attributable to a single chemical, EtO. This estimated risk is in addition to the risk of developing cancer from other causes. This is a worst-case scenario that assumes a person stays in the highest risk area 24 hours a day continuously for 70 years. EPA takes this approach because we want to be protective of the most exposed and most vulnerable individuals from risk associated with EtO emissions from this facility.
- Read additional information on EtO, including information on our current understanding of risks from ethylene oxide.
Community and Facility Details
The ETO Sterilization-Plant #2 located at 2500 Brunswick Avenue in Linden, NJ, opened in 1986, and sterilizes agricultural commodities such as spices and nuts. The facility operates four sterilizers, two installed in 1986, one installed in 1988, and one installed in 2000. To control emissions, the facility is equipped with a two-stage scrubbing control system. The facility is located in an industrial zone, north of I-278.
What EPA is Doing to Address Ethylene Oxide
Now: EPA is working with the State of New Jersey to reduce emissions at ETO Sterilization-Plant #2. EPA has provided technical support to our air agency partners at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as part of this work. EPA last inspected the facility on November 10, 2020, and there were no known violations. The Agency is reviewing controls on regulated equipment and processes that emit EtO to determine whether additional air pollution controls are needed. This review includes examining new developments in practices, processes and control technologies, considering cost and feasibility, as well as addressing any previously unregulated emission points.
Soon: Later this year, EPA will propose strengthening current regulations for Ethylene Oxide Commercial Sterilizers. EPA will consider risk as part of the proposed regulations.
- Learn more about regulation for EtO Sterilization Facilities.
- For more information about actions you can take.
EPA and the City of Linden hosted a community meeting on September 14, 2022 for the Linden and Elizabeth communities to learn more about EtO and risks from commercial sterilizers.
All registration fields are required.