Ethylene Oxide Concerns and Challenges Associated with Low Level Measurements
Ethylene oxide, a known human carcinogen, is an industrial chemical used as a fumigant and sterilant as well as an intermediate in chemical manufacturing. In 2016 the EPA published the results of an ethylene oxide health risk study indicating that exposure to a concentration of 0.02 ug/m3 of ethylene oxide over a lifetime corresponds to a 100-in-a-million cancer risk. This announcement sparked outrage by communities near facilities that manufacture and use ethylene oxide in their processes putting pressure on regulatory agencies to adopt standards consistent with this risk. In this presentation we will discuss the evolution of the ethylene oxide regulatory landscape, the challenges industry is facing to reduce emissions to acceptable levels, and the evolution of measurement techniques to support low level measurements used to demonstrate compliance.