"EPA Should Warn More Residents About Ethylene Oxide Risk: IG"

"The EPA has failed to warn residents who live near most plants that emit significant amounts of the carcinogenic gas ethylene oxide about the potential dangers to their health, the agency’s inspector general concluded Tuesday.

In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has met with officials and residents around only nine of the 25 biggest emitters since 2018, when it publicly recognized the need to do so in its update of the National Air Toxics Assessment, the inspector general said.

Ethylene oxide is a flammable, colorless gas with a faintly sweet odor that’s used to sterilize medical equipment. It’s also used as a building block for other chemicals to make a range of products, including antifreeze, textiles, plastics, detergents, and adhesives.

“While the EPA or state personnel, or both, have met with residents living near nine of the 25 high-priority facilities, communities near 16 facilities have yet to be afforded public meetings or other direct outreach to learn about the health risks and actions being taken to address those risks,” the report said."

Amena H. Saiyid reports for Bloomberg Environment March 31, 2020.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 04/01/2020