The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have designated ethylene oxide as a carcinogen. EE values can be used to support risk assessment and risk management decisions for chemicals such as EO … Although humans and animals may differ in their susceptibility to specific chemical compounds, any substance that produces cancer in experimental animals should also be considered to have carcinogenic potential in humans. However, NIOSH believes the present standard needs to be reexamined because its adoption preceded the recognition of the carcinogenic potential of EtO and was established to protect against only acute and nonmalignant chronic effects. Two control groups of animals were exposed to room air. 1,3-Butadiene is a colourless gas with a mild aromatic or gasoline-like odour. [131] Two control groups were used: one received the vehicle (tricaprylin) only, and the other group received no treatment. The text of that email is below: Related content. The weight of evidence from the epidemiologic, laboratory animal, and mechanistic studies supports a conclusion that EtO is carcinogenic in humans, with the strongest human evidence linking EtO exposure to lymphoid and breast cancers. The ability of ethylene oxide to damage DNA makes it an effective sterilizing agent but also accounts for its cancer-causing activity. This conclusion was based on observations of (1) changes in the genetic material of cells in at least 13 biological species following exposure to EtO, and (2) covalent chemical bonding between EtO and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a major constituent of genetic material. In the 1977 review, NIOSH concluded that occupational exposure to EtO may increase the frequency of mutations in human populations. Substitutes of lesser hazards should be used where practicable. Industries and work settings where it is used as a sterilant or fumigant include: health care, diagnosis, and treatment facilities; medical products manufacturing; libraries; museums; research laboratories; beekeeping; spices, seasonings, and black walnut meats fumigation; dairy packaging; cosmetics manufacturing; animal and plant quarantine service at ports of entry; transportation vehicles (e.g., aircraft, buses, and railroad cars) fumigation; and clothing, furs, and furniture fumigation. Twelve circulatory system deaths were observed, compared with 6.3 expected (p<0.05). Three separate cohorts were studied: 89 persons who worked full time in the EtO production area, with 1,234 person-years of observation; 86 maintenance workers who intermittently worked in the EtO area, with 1,211 person-years of observation; and 66 workers who had never worked in EtO production, with 955 person-years of observation. Ethylene Oxide (or EtO) is a human carcinogen that has been shown to cause cancers of the white blood cells, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma, and lymphocytic leukemia. Description of Substance: Colorless … These peritoneal tumors originated on the testicular mesothelium and were confined to the abdominal cavity. The primary routes of potential human exposure to ethylene oxide are inhalation and ingestion. Both alkylation and mutagenicity have been demonstrated for EtO. Safe levels of carcinogens have not been demonstrated, but the probability of developing cancer should be reduced by decreasing exposure. At room temperature, ethylene oxide is a flammable colorless gas with a sweet odor. Government scientists representing NIOSH, OSHA, and the National Toxicology Program reviewed this study with the investigators and concluded that EtO induced mononuclear cell leukemia in the female rats and peritoneal mesothelioma in male rats. Nonmalignant chronic effects in humans include anemia and respiratory irritation, with susceptability to secondary respiratory infection. However, one leukemia death was observed among the maintenance workers, compared with 0.13 expected deaths. None of the animals (0/822) in the control group had HT. Peritoneal mesothelioma was treatment-related in male rats exposed to EtO at 33 and 100 ppm. Time-weighted average ambient and breathing zone concentrations were generally below the OSHA standard of 50 ppm. Ethylene oxide is also naturally formed in the body during the breakdown of ethylene. *End of … Exposure should be limited to as few workers as possible, and workplace exposure levels should be minimized. Texaco Chemical Company A dose-response relationship was observed; 9.36% (38/406) of the animals had HT in the high dose group, while 1.32% (6/456) had HT in the low dose group. Of the 23 deaths, 9 cancer deaths were observed, compared with 3.4 expected (p<0.01). Synonyms and identifiers are listed in Appendix III. This study examined the kinetics of EO metabolism Ventilation equipment should be checked at least every 3 months to ensure adequate performance. This individual also had some occasional contact with benzene in laboratory work. The recommendation is to absolutely not eat these foods contaminated with a carcinogen. Such findings may indicate a chemical’s carcinogenic potential, although the relevance of subcutaneous tumors at injection sites to carcinogenicity is often questioned. Ethylene oxide is a flammable gas with a somewhat sweet odor. The chemical, which is a gas at room temperature, is also used … 80-4, The Safe Use of Ethylene Oxide: Proceedings of the Educational Seminar. The actions taken by some companies to voluntarily adopt exposure guidelines lower than the present standard are commendable moves in the right direction, however, these exposure guidelines have not been evaluated by NIOSH. Ethylene Oxide can affect you when inhaled and by passing through the skin. Also, epidemiologic investigators reported excess cancer mortality at two worksites where workers were exposed to EtO. Ethene oxide (ethylene oxide) is a directly reactive and genotoxic chemical. Ethylene oxide is a direct-acting alkylating agent that has been used as an industrial intermediate and as a Among the full-time production workers, 23 deaths were observed, compared with 13.5 expected (p<0.05). Therefore, some of the above synonyms and identifiers may be trademarked but are not so indicated above. Other work supports these findings. EtO is effective as both an alkylating agent and as a mutagen in a wide variety of biological systems. Studies also showed an increased risk of breast cancer in females. These surveys are necessary to determine the extent of worker exposure and to ensure that controls are operational and effective. Postmortem examinations were made of all animals that died or were killed when moribund, and at scheduled intervals at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 25 months. Workers should be informed as to the nature of the hazard, its control, and appropriate personal hygiene procedures. Evidence of this nature is available for EtO. A recent study demonstrates that EtO induces cancer in experimental animals.2 A dose-related increase in mononuclear cell leukemia was established in that study; exposures as low as 10 ppm increased the proportion of female rats with the leukemia. In contrast, the cohorts of maintenance workers with intermittent exposure and the workers never exposed to EtO did not demonstrate any statistically significant excess cause of death. Since that time new data have become avail - able, which have been incorporated in this Monograph, and taken into consideration in the present evaluation. In contrast to the chemical-manufacturing plants, other industries and activities may use only a very small portion of the total EtO produced, but are responsible for high occupational exposures to many workers. Shell Chemical Of the 113 agents listed by IARC as known human carcinogens (Groups 1), at least 11 have been or are currently used in personal care products: formaldehyde, phenacetin, coal tar, benzene, untreated or mildly treated mineral oils, methylene glycol, ethylene oxide, chromium, cadmium and its compounds, arsenic, and crystalline silica or quartz. Ethene oxide (ethylene oxide) is a directly reactive and genotoxic chemical. The NIOSH Occupational Exposure Sampling Strategy Manual may be helpful in developing efficient programs to monitor worker exposure to EtO.48 The manual discusses determination of the need for exposure measurements and selection of sampling times. In 1978, a company that uses EtO in manufacturing and distributing health care products began to investigate possible adverse effects of EtO on its workers. Back to School . More recent work in this area was presented at a seminar sponsored by the Health Industry Manufacturers Association (HIMA). Ethylene Oxide CAS RN: 75-21-8 Carcinogenicity Evidence. (APF = 50) Any air-purifying, full-facepiece respirator (gas mask) with a chin-style, front- or back-mounted canister providing protection against ethylene oxide*; or Any self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece; or Any supplied-air respirator with a full facepiece. Exposure to the chemical is linked to leukemia, spontaneous abortion, nerve damage, muscle weakness, and cognitive problems. Some workers are on occasion exposed to relatively high concentrations of ethylene oxide, particularly where it is used for fumigation and sterilization. Current OSHA PEL: 1 ppm TWA, 5 ppm 15-minute “EXCURSION” 1989 OSHA PEL: Same as current PEL. This page features 10 Cited Research Articles. Arlington, Virginia 22202 be about 15-20 µg ethylene oxide per day (Törnqvist, 1996). Ethylene oxide is highly reactive and potentially explosive in the presence of alkali metal hydroxides and highly active catalytic surfaces, or when heated. 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