EPA Reaches Out To Public Regarding Ethylene Oxide Risks

Aug. 8, 2022
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will engage with communities to provide up-to-date information on the risks posed by air emissions of ethylene oxide.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces its plans to engage and inform communities, states, tribes, territories and stakeholders about up-to-date information on the risks posed by air emissions of ethylene oxide (EtO) from commercial sterilizers, as well as EPA’s efforts to address these risks. EPA is releasing new information on specific facilities where lifetime risk levels are the highest to people who live nearby and is encouraging impacted communities to participate in a series of public engagements to learn more. Later this year, EPA expects to propose an air pollution regulation to protect public health by addressing EtO emissions at commercial sterilizers.

EPA analysis reportedly indicates that the air near facilities does not exceed short-term health benchmarks. However, the concern is that a lifetime of exposure to EtO emissions could lead to long-term health impacts if some of these facilities continue to emit at the current levels. EPA says it is working with these facilities to take appropriate steps to reduce emissions.

“Today, EPA is taking action to ensure communities are informed and engaged in our efforts to address ethylene oxide, a potent air toxic posing serious health risks with long-term exposure,” says EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in a press release from the agency. “Under my watch, EPA will do everything we can to share critical information on exposure risk to the people who need and deserve this information, and to take action to protect communities from pollution.”

EPA reportedly is taking a phased outreach approach to engage the American public on this issue. This includes detailed web material with risk information for high-risk communities and a national public webinar taking place on August 10 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EDT. EPA says it will follow this national level outreach with community specific engagements starting with communities where the risk is the highest.

EPA is continuing to gain access to more information about EtO, and to refine its scientific understanding of the risks it poses. Later in 2022, EPA will release additional, national-level information about the risks that EtO creates to those who work in EtO facilities, as well as those who spend time near them. 

Read the entire press release here.

Sponsored Recommendations

Common Applications for Industrial Measurement Instrumentation

Pressure Measurement. Chemical. Food & Beverage. Mining, Minerals & Metals. Measurement Solutions for Hot Process Industries. Solve high process temperatu…

Reliability and safety in even the most demanding environments

Transform your operations with real-time insight and run at your peak potential. Measurement Instrumentation Technologies that help you reliably maxim…