Tag: Ethylene Oxide

TCEQ Compelled to Release Ethylene Oxide Assessment Info

A state appeals court has ruled that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) must provide documents utilized to revise its ethylene oxide (EtO) risk assessment to the Sierra Club. Background EtO is a flammable gas used to sterilize medial equipment and, when mixed with other chemicals, as a building block to make dish soap, […]

Ethylene Oxide Under Fire and Increased Scrutiny

A recent jury ruling in Cook County, Illinois, granting a $360 million win to plaintiff Sue Kamuda in her damages suit against medical sterilizer Sterigenics’ Willowbrook plant does not bode well for facilities using ethylene oxide (EtO). In the suit, Kamuda claimed she contracted cancer from breathing emissions from the facility over three decades. According […]

EO Under Fire—the IRIS Dilemma

It looks to be a bumpy road ahead for any industry, primarily the synthetic chemical manufacturing industry (SOCMI), including petrochemical plants, dealing with ethylene oxide (EO). At the heart of the controversy is the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) value for EO emissions. The controversial IRIS “IRIS is a research program that assesses chemical toxicity […]

Air emissions, pollution

State AGs Join EtO NESHAP Conversation

In a comment letter, Illinois Attorney General (AG) Kwame Raoul and 10 other state AGs have urged the U.S. EPA to propose regulatory revisions that will adequately protect the public and the environment from the risks posed by emissions of ethylene oxide (EtO) from commercial sterilization and fumigation operations. High on the list of requested […]

Air emissions, pollution

CAA Proposal Would Target Ethylene Oxide from Chemical Facilities

In one of its few major Clean Air Act (CAA) rulemaking actions that is not deregulatory, the Trump EPA is proposing to add significant requirements to its existing National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the Miscellaneous Organic Chemical Manufacturing source category. Called the MON, the existing rule covers an estimated 201 facilities […]

EPA Will Review EtO Sterilization NESHAP

Following an evaluation of the carcinogenic risks posed by ethylene oxide (EtO), which the EPA released in 2016, and a follow-up National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) for EtO, the EPA has decided that the health risks posed by EtO air emissions are “significantly higher” than previously believed.