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Abstract

Gas sterilizers, using either pure ethylene oxide (EtO) or an admixture with an inert diluent, are typically utilized for treating products which cannot withstand heat sterilization. Due to the highly toxic nature of ethylene oxide and its classification as a suspect carcinogen, special precautions must be taken to ensure safe exposure levels to human receptors. This paper discusses the various engineering controls that can be implemented at EtO sterilization facilities to minimize ethylene oxide ambient concentrations and worker exposure levels.