Air quality assessment finds higher concentrations of EtO emissions in Kanawha County
The EPA has determined breathing air containing elevated levels of EtO over many years can increase the risk of some types of cancer.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A national air quality assessment program by the EPA has identified a number of communities around the country with higher concentrations of Ethylene Oxide emissions, including South Charleston and Institute in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
EtO is a flammable, colorless gas used in the production of a range of products such as antifreeze, textiles, plastics, detergents and adhesives. It is also used to sterilize medical equipment and surgical implements and plastic devices that cannot be otherwise sterilized by steam.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined breathing air containing elevated levels of EtO emissions over many years can increase the risk of some types of cancer.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has launched a new webpage providing citizens with updated information for Ethylene Oxide and concerns over health issues associated with EtO emissions.
The WVDEP says it is working with the EPA, facilities that use EtO, and other stakeholders to continue gathering updated and site-specific data so as to better understand and evaluate the areas of concern and identify ways to reduce EtO emissions.
The newly launched webpage provides an overview of EtO, what steps the agency and the EPA have taken to address health concerns and multiple links to help citizens learn more about the issue ahead of public meetings tentatively scheduled for late September.
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