ATSDR - Toxic Substances - Ethylene Oxide
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Ethylene Oxide

CAS ID #: 75-21-8

Affected Organ Systems: Dermal (Skin), Developmental (effects during periods when organs are developing) , Neurological (Nervous System), Ocular (Eyes), Renal (Urinary System or Kidneys)

Cancer Classification: NTP: Known to be a Human Carcinogen

Chemical Classification: None

Summary: Ethylene oxide is a flammable gas with a somewhat sweet odor. It dissolves easily in water. Ethylene oxide is a man-made chemical that is used primarily to make ethylene glycol (a chemical used to make antifreeze and polyester). A small amount (less than 1%) is used to control insects in some stored agricultural products and a very small amount is used in hospitals to sterilize medical equipment and supplies.

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