Proposed EPA rules target sterilization facilities

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed two new standards to reduce ethylene oxide emissions and protect workers exposed to the gas during sterilization processes. 

Long-term exposure to the gas can increase the risk for certain types of cancer, the EPA said in a April 11 news release. 

The first proposed rule would require 86 commercial sterilizers nationwide to comply with stricter air pollution controls. If finalized, the standard would cut ethylene oxide admissions from the facilities by an estimated 80 percent annually. 

The EPA is also proposing a new set of mitigation measures to better protect workers who use the gas to sterilize products. In the healthcare space, the rule would reduce the amount of ethylene oxide permitted to be used in medical device sterilization while still meeting applicable standards for sterility assurance, the agency said. 

Learn more here.

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