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Hazardous Air Pollutants: Ethylene Oxide

Inspector General follow-up: Ethylene Oxide

EPA Follow-up to March 2020 Office of the Inspector General report

As EPA pursues its mission to protect public health and the environment, addressing ethylene oxide (EtO) remains a major priority for the Agency. EPA’s National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), released in August 2018, identified a number of areas (census tracts) with potentially elevated risk from continuous exposure, over 70 years, to EtO in the outdoor air. NATA estimated these risks based on EtO emissions from 2014, which were the most recently available at the time. Actual risks today may be higher or lower than NATA estimated due to several factors, including updated or more refined facility emissions information, or recent facility changes such as the installation of pollution controls. 

NATA is a screening-level analysis that is intended to identify pollutants or areas for closer examination. Because of this, additional work is needed to better understand emissions in areas that NATA identified as potentially having elevated risk. EPA has been supporting its state air agency partners as they conduct that work and identify opportunities for reducing EtO emissions from individual facilities, while the Agency reviews its national regulations for industrial facilities that emit EtO.

On March 31, 2020, the EPA Office of the Inspector General issued a management alert that called on EPA to provide information to the 25 communities that NATA identified as potentially having the highest risk from EtO emissions. The status reports on this page describe the technical analyses and outreach conducted for those areas since NATA was issued in August 2018. 

Note: EPA is compiling more current and complete emissions data to generate new risk estimates for the more than 100 EtO sterilizers across the country as part of its work to develop a proposed revision for the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for EtO sterilization facilities. These estimates will replace the NATA estimates and could include additional facilities. EPA will share this information with the public as part of its upcoming proposed rule.

Status reports: NATA follow-up work, by state/territory and city


Terumo BCT, Lakewood


Croda, New Castle


Sterigenics Cobb County, Smyrna

BD, Covington


Medline Industries, Waukegan

Sterigenics, Willowbrook (closed)


BCP Ingredients, St. Gabriel

Taminco US, St. Gabriel

Air Products Performance Manufacturing Inc., Reserve  

Sasol Chemicals – Lake Charles Chemical Complex, Westlake

Union Carbide Corp., Taft


Grand Rapids  - Viant Medical (no longer using EtO)


Jackson – Midwest Sterilization

Verona - BCP Ingredients

New Mexico

Santa Teresa – Sterigenics


Allentown - Braun Medical

Puerto Rico

Añasco- Edwards Life Sciences

South Carolina

Charleston - Lanxess


Houston – Shell Technology Center

Laredo – Midwest Sterilization

Longview – Eastman Chemical

Port Neches – Huntsman

West Virginia

Institute - Union Carbide

South Charleston – Union Carbide


Milton – Evonik Materials Corp.