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LA Testing Tests for Ethylene Oxide

Category Press Release
Publish Date 6/15/2011
Author Paul Cochrane
Title California’s Prop 65 and Ethylene Oxide Public Health Concerns
Introduction LA Testing provides analytical services to protect the public and help businesses comply with California’s Proposition 65.

Garden Grove, CA, June 15th, 2011


In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address increasing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is better known by its original name of Proposition 65. 


Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.  This list includes ethylene oxide, a colorless flammable gas with a slight sweet odor.  When used in the gaseous form or in non-explosive gaseous mixtures with nitrogen or carbon dioxide, ethylene oxide can be used as a disinfectant, fumigant, sterilant or insecticide.


Ethylene oxide’s chemical reactivity has made it a key industrial chemical.  The chemical is extremely flammable and can cause explosions. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Ethylene oxide (also known as EO, EtO, ETO, anprolene, dihydrooxirene, 1,2-epoxyethane, oxacyclopropane, oxane, oxidoethane, oxirane, and others) is an industrial chemical with a variety of uses such as an ingredient or as an intermediate in the production of other chemicals (e.g., ethylene glycol and polyester), or to produce nonionic surfactants in household and industrial detergents.” 


“Ethylene oxide has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a group 1, meaning it is a carcinogen,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, a leading environmental testing laboratory.   “Its odor threshold is 250 to 700 ppm.  OSHA’s permissible exposure limit is 1 ppm calculated as a time weighted average over 8 hours of 1 ppm.  At the odor threshold, this chemical is already at toxic concentrations.  Testing and personal protective equipment can help prevent dangerous worker exposure,” he continued.


LA Testing provides environmental and exposure testing services for ethylene oxide.  To learn more about Proposition 65 testing services please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 


About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.

LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.