EPA Proposes New Rules for Sterilizer Facilities

Agency intends to reduce long-term exposure to ethylene oxide.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule intended to reduce ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions from sterilizer facilities by 80 percent. EtO is a toxic, colorless gas used to sterilize medical equipment and spices, and continued exposure to the gas causes a number of health issues, including cancer.

The rule, if passed, will require sterilizer facilities to use 500 milligrams of EtO per liter to ensure sterility while reducing exposure. While this is already the recommended amount for EtO use that many sterilization facilities follow, it is not legally required. Some facilities reportedly use more than twice the recommended amount for their sterilization procedures.

“At EPA, we recognize that ensuring that all people have clean air to breathe is not just an important responsibility and our job under the law, but it’s also a moral imperative,” Janet McCabe, the agency’s deputy administrator, stated in a teleconference.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Deputy Administrator McCabe as she fulfills her role in the agency.
  • For Administrator Regan to seek God’s direction as he heads the EPA.
  • For EPA officials as they evaluate pollutants and needed restrictions on them.

Sources: Reuters, Environmental Protection Agency


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