Evaluation of the Carcinogenicity of Ethylene Oxide (External Review Draft)

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EPA conducted a peer review and public comment of the scientific basis supporting the human health hazard and dose-response assessment of ethylene oxide (cancer) that when finalized will appear on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database.

Ethylene Oxide is a gas at room temperature used in chemical manufacturing and as a sterilizing agent for medical equipment and a fumigating agent for spices. Human exposure occurs in occupations involving contact with the gas in production facilities and hospitals that sterilize medical equipment. EtO can also be inhaled by residents living near production or sterilizing/fumigating facilities.


Following review by the Science Advisory Board and consideration of public comments received, the Agency will finalize the EtO carcinogenicity document and place it in EPA’s IRIS data base.


U.S. EPA. Evaluation of the Carcinogenicity of Ethylene Oxide (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/635/R-06/003, 2006.


Apr 1984EPA released the Health Assessment Document for Ethylene Oxide (External Review Draft)(EPA-600/8-84/009A).
Jun 1985EPA published the Health Assessment Document for Ethylene Oxide (Final).
Dec 1998EPA begins work on new assessment of carcinogenicity of EtO.
Mar 2006Completion of internal EPA review of draft assessment of carcinogenicity of EtO.
Aug 2006Completion of external Federal agencies review of EPA’s draft assessment of carcinogenicity of EtO.
Sep 2006EPA released the report and announced a 30-day public comment period in a September 22 Federal Register Notice.
Oct 2006EPA announced an extension from 30-day to 60-day public comment period in an October 12, 2006 Federal Register Notice.
Oct 2006There was a correction made to the document, as described in the October 20, 2006 Federal Register Notice.
Nov 2006EPA released the NCEA EtO Peer Review Charges and Memo to the SAB for their review (see downloads).

Additional Information

The release of this draft document is solely for the purpose of seeking public comment and for review by the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) via a meeting to be held later in 2006. The time and place of the SAB meeting will be announced in a separate Federal Register notice. This document has not been formally disseminated by EPA and does not represent, and should not be construed to represent, any Agency policy or determination.