More litigation of ethylene oxide likely coming after Sterigenics trial

Multiple cases regarding the use and resulting health effects of ethylene oxide have raised the possibility of additional litigation in a litany of pending cases. From a $363 million jury verdict to an injunction stopping the development of a $9.4 billion chemical plant, ethylene oxide has become a prominent focus in environmental litigation and will likely hold that focus for years to come.

What is EtO?

  • According to the EPA, ethylene oxide or EtO (CAS RN 75-21-8) is a colorless gas used to sterilize 50% of medical devices and dental equipment that cannot be sterilized using steam or radiation. It is also used to sterilize some food products and spices, and as a pesticide.
  • EtO is also produced in large volumes for use in the manufacture of other chemicals and products including antifreeze, textiles, plastics, detergents, and adhesives.

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