Following reporting by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune and attention from the EPA inspector general, the agency announced plans to “inform and engage” communities about elevated cancer risk from ethylene oxide. It should have done so years ago.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced plans to “engage and inform” nearly two dozen communities across the country where air pollution from commercial sterilizer plants has significantly increased lifetime cancer risks for nearby residents. The facilities use a toxic gas called ethylene oxide to sanitize medical and dental equipment and fumigate certain food products. The announcement comes after the EPA’s inspector general and news publications including ProPublica and The Texas Tribune highlighted the agency’s yearslong failure to inform communities of their risks.