Cinnaminson, New Jersey, February 21st
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently took action to expand the scope of Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements to include certain contract sterilization facilities that are not currently reporting on ethylene oxide (EtO) releases. EtO is used as a sterilant for medical equipment and supplies.
EtO and ethylene glycol have been on the TRI toxic chemical list since its inception in 1987, but not all facilities that use these chemicals have been subject to TRI reporting requirements. Last year, EPA sent letters to 31 facilities providing notice that EPA was considering exercising its discretionary authority. EPA has since decided to issue a determination extending TRI reporting requirements to 29 of the 31 facilities for EtO and to 16 of the 31 facilities for ethylene glycol. This requirement went into effect in January 2022. Ethylene glycol is produced using ethylene oxide so these chemicals often co-occur at facilities.
According to the EPA announcement:
Exposure to EtO can cause cancer in humans and damage DNA. Other effects of EtO exposure include eye, skin, nose, throat, and lung irritation as well as harm to the brain and nervous system (causing effects such as headaches, memory loss, numbness). Workers in facilities that use EtO and people in communities - including historically underserved communities - located adjacent to these facilities have the highest chance of being exposed to EtO. Additionally, because their bodies are still growing, children are expected to be more susceptible to the toxic effects caused by EtO.
“To help companies and institutions comply with these and other regulations, the industrial hygiene and environmental scientists at EMSL Analytical offer laboratory testing for ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, and many other chemicals,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In addition to laboratory services, EMSL’s facilities in the United States and Canada offer sampling supplies, monitoring instruments, and even personal protective equipment.”
EMSL sponsored an educational video about ethylene oxide and occupational exposure concerns several years ago that can still be seen at: https://youtu.be/_-B8MFnk-ZQ
To learn more about EtO, ethylene glycol, and other occupational, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.