When it comes to ethylene oxide (EtO) injuries, most people are exposed by breathing in this harmful chemical. Small amounts of EtO that have been inhaled can be removed from the body through urine or feces within two to three days. However, higher levels of exposure are substantially more difficult for the body to remove, and can cause a person to develop cancer, miscarriages, and birth defects in babies.
Exposure through the environment is usually minimal because of how fast the gas dissolves into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, high concentration of EtO are released into the air by companies that use the chemical to sterilize the products they manufacture.
Why Do Companies Use Ethylene Oxide?
Some companies use EtO to sterilize medical equipment and electronic parts that would be damaged if cleaned with high temperatures or moisture. The FDA has approved this method of sterilization.
Does the Public Know About the Risks of Ethylene Oxide?
EtO doesn’t have any color, but it does have sweet smell. Because there is no way to know if you have been exposed at the time of exposure, residents living near manufacturers that use EtO to sterilize products are exposed to the toxic gas for years without ever knowing it. Unfortunately, the lack of warning about the risks of potential exposure means that these people are unable to fully take their health and wellbeing into account.
The longer you are exposed to EtO, the more likely you are to experience some of the negative side effects. Residents who live near factories that use EtO have reported the following types of cancer:
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Breast Cancer
Speak to a Chicago Injury Lawyer
At McNabola & Associates, we are committed to helping clients who have suffered serious injuries caused by ethylene oxide exposure. If you or loved one have been exposed to EtO, you should immediately consult with our lawyers to discuss your legal options. We can help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.