Frequently Asked Questions
What is Medical Monitoring?
Monitoring in a legal context is a “theory of liability in which persons with no ascertainable injuries or symptoms seek to recover the costs of screening for health problems caused by exposure to hazardous substances.
What cancers and illness have been associated with ethylene oxide exposure?
According to Centers for Disease Control and US EPA the following diseases have been associated with EtO exposure. (Check back soon).
What should my doctors know or what should I be telling them?
The standard of care for examining long-term residential exposure is in it’s infancy. To date we are aware of one medical monitoring recommendation. Presented during the May 7, 2019 seminar on Ethylene Oxide – Building Awareness for Primary Care Physicians and other clinicians. (Click here) Dr. Susan Buchanan, Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program, is dual-certified in Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine/Occupational Medicine. has suggested having your healthcare provider order a complete blood count (CBC) .(Click here)
Since the primary ethylene oxide source has been temporally sealed and is no longer emitting ethylene oxide, does that mean I am no longer at risk?
Exposure to ethylene oxide and resulting illness onset may be as many as 14 years post exposure before the illness has presented or detected. Additionally, EtO remains persistent in the air subject to EtO’s half-life and meteorological dispersion. Better insights to remaining risk can be found in the US EPA slide summary for the EtO monitoring from November 13, 2018 through March 31, 2019 and this includes about 45 days after seal order that yielded dramatically lower concentrations.
How much exposure to ethylene oxide is considered safe?
Essentially zero, the EPA established that 0.00021 μg/m3 will case one additional cancer in a million. For more information on risks. (Click here)
If I can't smell ethylene oxide, can it make me sick?
Ethylene oxide is not detectable by smell until high concentrations are present. Different studies and people have reported smelling EtO from 260 ppm to 700 ppm. These levels are exceptionally high and pose serious risks. Any level of ethylene oxide above 0.00021 μg/m3 poses risks.