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{Past Event} - EPA warns EtO cancer risks, offers alternatives

March 14, 2018 - 2:00 pm - March 14, 2018 - 3:00 pm -- Eastern Standard Time


Health care and commercial sterilization facilities often use ethylene oxide (EtO) to sterilize moisture- and heat-sensitive medical instruments. The EPA updated EtO to a “human carcinogen,” while increasing its lifetime inhalation cancer risk estimate about 60 times. The new cancer potency information supports the need to reduce EtO air emissions.

Learning Objectives

EPA’s presentation will outline:

  • What EtO is and how it’s used
  • EtO exposures and toxicology
  • EtO air monitoring and regulations
  • Potential for EPA collaboration with hospitals on alternative sterilization approaches


Margaret Sieffert

EPA environmental engineer

Margaret Sieffert is an environmental engineer with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5 in Chicago. She has worked for Region 5’s Air and Radiation Division for nearly 22 years. Sieffert is Region 5’s lead for outreach on ethylene oxide.

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