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Identifying Exposure Risks to Ethylene Oxide in the Workplace

EMSL Analytical, Inc. provides testing services and sampling supplies to identify ethylene oxide and other potentially hazardous chemicals.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations
EMSL Analytical, Inc. Laboratory Locations

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is an organic compound produced in large volumes. It is both flammable and highly reactive, and is primarily used as an intermediate in the production of several industrial chemicals, the most notable of which is ethylene glycol. It is also used as a fumigant in certain agricultural products and as a sterilant for medical equipment and supplies.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that EtO possesses several physical and health hazards that merit special attention. The agency states that acute exposures to EtO gas may result in respiratory irritation and lung injury, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and cyanosis. Both human and animal studies show that EtO is a carcinogen that may cause leukemia and other cancers. EtO is also linked to spontaneous abortion, genetic damage, nerve damage, peripheral paralysis, muscle weakness, as well as impaired thinking and memory.

An EtO fact sheet has been developed by OSHA to help educate workers and employers about exposure hazards. The document states that employers should train and communicate information to affected workers, utilize engineering controls and work practices to control exposures, provide personal protective equipment, and take other health and safety measures.

“Workplace exposures to ethylene oxide in the United States are addressed in specific standards for general industry, shipyard employment and the construction industry,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “OSHA’s EtO standard requires employers to conduct personal monitoring unless they are specifically exempt. At EMSL, we offer ethylene oxide testing services in our industrial hygiene laboratory along with all of the sampling supplies and equipment that are necessary to comply with monitoring regulations and to protect workers’ health and safety.”

EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about ethylene oxide and occupational exposure concerns that can be seen at:

To learn more about EtO testing or other air quality, occupational, environmental, health and safety services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 

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 Ethylene oxide
 industrial hygiene
 occupational safety

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