Center for Political Awareness

New EPA Rule to Slash Cancer-Causing Emissions from Sterilization Facilities

The new rule comes after a 2021 investigation by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune revealed the EPA’s yearslong failure to inform communities of the risks they faced from cancer-causing ethylene oxide emissions. (Click image for article.)

Photo: The Midwest Sterilization Corporation in Laredo, Texas Credit:Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday issued a rule to slash toxic emissions from commercial sterilization facilities that have posed an increased lifetime cancer risk to residents who live near them. These facilities release fumes of ethylene oxide, labeled by the agency as “one of the most potent cancer-causing chemicals.”

Ethylene oxide, a flammable, colorless gas, is used to sanitize medical and dental equipment to reduce the risk of infection, and fumigate certain food products. Long-term exposure to ethylene oxide can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, nose and throat as well as damage to the brain and reproductive system.

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