Video: Ethylene Oxide – An Essential Chemistry
Ethylene Oxide is a versatile and essential chemical building block used in a variety of products, from soaps to detergents to automotive products. Companies that make and work with Ethylene Oxide are actively investing in research and advanced product stewardship technologies so that they can continue to help protect the health of our communities. Learn more in this video.
Click here for more information about Ethylene Oxide. Additionally, see the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Resources on Ethylene Oxide.
Look around your house. In the bathroom, you might find a few products like these. In the bedroom, you probably sleep on these, have several of these in your closet and use this to keep them clean. In the garage, you might use these products in your car.
Whether you are using these products in your morning, evening or weekend routines, they all have one thing in common. They’ve been manufactured with the help of a versatile and essential chemical building block called Ethylene Oxide. Besides consumer goods, ethylene oxide is used to manufacture many products used in other applications too.
In healthcare, Ethylene Oxide is used in the production of life-saving medical devices, including personal protective equipment used by medical professionals. In fact, more than 50% of medical devices are sterilized using Ethylene Oxide to better protect you and me.
Manufacturing facilities using and producing Ethylene Oxide are highly regulated by state and federal agencies. The EPA standards for Ethylene Oxide production and use require emission-reducing and monitoring devices, on-site testing, site-specific operating parameters, and regular reporting and record keeping. Facilities that work with Ethylene Oxide use cutting-edge technologies to meet and exceed EPA standards. With continued improvement, we’ve seen significant reductions in emissions over the last twenty years.
OSHA sets specific standards and requirements for people working with Ethylene Oxide. Extensive training of industry personnel on the handling, use and production of Ethylene Oxide occurs on a continual basis. Production safeguards and mechanisms are in place in case of an incident to minimize release and exposure. Industry employees also assist in training first responders and personnel from other facilities on emergency responses involving Ethylene Oxide.
Companies that produce and use Ethylene Oxide are committed to the health and safety of their employees, our environment and our local communities. More work continues to be done using innovation and technology to minimize emissions, improve best practices and create essentialist products people use everyday.