Washington – The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Residents living near sterilization plants in 13 states and Puerto Rico were warned of potential hazards from ethylene oxide emissions.A material used in such facilities.
Among the most affected populations were Laredo, Texas; Ardmore, Oklahoma and Lakewood, Colorado refer to the American agency known by its acronym EPA.
The company has announced 23 commercial sterile plants – 19 on land and Four in Puerto Rico – Their activities carry a high risk of cancer and other diseases. Around 100 such plants have been studied across the country.
The cities in Puerto Rico identified by the agency are Anasco, Fajardo, Salinas and Villalba. EPA has approved Edwards Lifesciences (Añasco), Customed, Inc. (Fajardo), Steri-Tech, Inc. (Salinas) and Medtronic Puerto Rico Operations Co. (Villalba) has identified companies.
In its literature, the company shows photos of the location of ethylene oxide producers along with estimated impact zones around the plants. The EPA estimates that the lifetime risk of cancer in 100 patients or more is one in a million; In other words, if a million people were exposed to high levels of ethylene oxide 24 hours a day for 70 years, 100 would develop some form of cancer as a result of that exposure.
Ethylene oxide is used to clean medical products such as catheters, syringes, pacemakers, and surgical gowns.
Although brief or occasional exposure to ethylene oxide does not cause harmful effects, The EPA warned that long-term exposure can cause many diseases, including lymphoma and breast cancer. The company pledged to work with companies in the sector to take steps to reduce emissions.
“Today, the EPA is taking steps to ensure the public is informed and aware of our efforts to address the problem of ethylene oxide, a potent substance that poses serious health risks during long-term exposure,” said the EPA administrator. A statement issued on Wednesday.
EPA will launch awareness campaigns in each of the affected communities, including Weban, scheduled for August 10. One of the populations identified as high risk is Laredo, a border city where the majority of residents are Latino and more than a quarter live in poverty. There is a sterilizing plant there for Missouri-based Midwest Sterilization Corporation.
More than 40% of the city’s 70,000 schoolchildren attend schools at high risk for cancer due to ethylene oxide emissions from the plant.According to an analysis by ProPublica and the Texas Tribune.
A Midwest spokeswoman declined to immediately comment. But the company told ProPublica and the Tribune last December that the cancer risk of its installation was overblown.
The company assured that the harmful emissions were “aggravating” and not current.
According to the EPA website, the four plants in Puerto Rico are: Edwards Life Sciences, in Anasco; Optional, in Fajardo; Steri-Tech, in Salinas; and Medtronic, in Villalba.
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