CHARLESTON, W.Va. (August 20, 2021) – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has launched a new webpage providing citizens with updated information for Ethylene Oxide (EtO) and concerns over health issues associated with EtO emissions.
EtO is a flammable, colorless gas used in the production of a range of products such as antifreeze, textiles, plastics, detergents and adhesives. It is also used to sterilize medical equipment and surgical implements and plastic devices that cannot be otherwise sterilized by steam. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that breathing air containing elevated levels of EtO emissions over many years can increase the risk of some types of cancer.
A national air quality assessment program by EPA has identified a number of communities around the country with higher concentrations of EtO emissions. Two of those areas were in West Virginia – in South Charleston and Institute in Kanawha County.
The WVDEP is working closely with EPA, facilities that use EtO, and other stakeholders to continue gathering updated and site-specific data so as to better understand and evaluate the areas of concern and identify ways to reduce EtO emissions.
provides an overview of EtO, what steps the agency and the EPA have taken to address health concerns, and multiple links to help citizens learn more about the issue ahead of public meetings tentatively scheduled for late September.
More information will be added to the webpage as it becomes available.
For more WVDEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov. Also, connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter, Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/depwv/
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