14 Million Americans Live Near Plants Emitting Cancer-Causing Gas: Report

"Emissions of a colorless, carcinogenic gas produced by facilities that sterilize medical equipment disproportionately affect low-income and minority neighborhoods but pose a risk to more than 14 million Americans, according to a report released Tuesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Ethylene oxide is largely produced by commercial sterilizers, which tend to be located in buildings that do not look like the average American’s image of large industrial facilities, to the point that people are often unaware they share a neighborhood with them, according to Darya Minovi, a senior researcher with the group and the report’s author.

“That’s particularly the case with commercial sterilizers. It might not necessarily be the case with some of the larger chemical manufacturing facilities that emit ethylene oxide and also a number of other substances, but commercial sterilizers often just look like large warehouses,” she told The Hill in an interview. “They don’t have very large stacks, it’s not clear what’s going on inside the facility, and ethylene oxide is of course, a colorless gas, so you might not even be aware that it’s being emitted.”"

Zack Budryk reports for The Hill February 8, 2023.

Source: The Hill, 02/09/2023