Introduction to Ethylene Oxide (ETO)
Ethylene Oxide (ETO) is a colorless, flammable gas with a faintly sweet odor. It is a raw material used in diverse applications. A very hazardous substance, Ethylene Oxide is a flammable, carcinogenic, mutagenic, irritating, and anaesthetic gas at room temperature. It is critical in the production of many consumer products such as detergents, thickeners, solvents, and plastics. It is also used as a disinfectant in hospitals to replace steam in sterilization of heat-sensitive tools and equipment.
Though it has a pleasant aroma, Ethylene Oxide is toxic by inhalation. Personnel working with this toxic gas must be aware of its carcinogenic and reproductive hazards. Anyone working with Ethylene Oxide must exercise extreme caution and wear proper protective clothing.
When present in high concentrations, Ethylene Oxide may produce these symptoms:
- Eye, throat, respiratory irritation
When researching ETO gas detection solutions, facility managers should be aware of the following ETO exposure limits:
|1 ppm TWA, 5 ppm (15 min) Excursion Level, 0.5 ppm Action Level||OSHA PEL (General Industry)|
|1 ppm TWA, 5 ppm (15 min) Excursion Level, 0.5 ppm Action Level||OSHA PEL (Construction Industry)|
|1 ppm TWA, 5 ppm (15 min) Excursion Level, 0.5 ppm Action Level||OSHA PEL (Maritime)|
|1 ppm TWA||ACGIH TLV|
|<0.1 ppm TWA, 5 ppm (10 min) ceiling||NIOSH REL|
|800 ppm||NIOSH IDLH|
|Group 1 carcinogenic||Int’l Agency for Research on Cancer|