Acute exposures to EtO gas may result in respiratory irritation and lung injury, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and cyanosis. Chronic exposure has been associated with the occurrence of cancer, reproductive effects, mutagenic changes, neurotoxicity, and sensitization. The following references aid in preventing and controlling exposures to ethylene oxide.
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2005-149, (September 2007). Provides physical description, exposure limits, measurement method, personal protection & sanitation, first aid, respirator recommendations, exposure routes, symptoms, target organs, and cancer sites.
- Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), (January 1981). Contains information on identification, physical and chemical properties, health hazards, exposure limits, exposure sources and control methods, monitoring, personal hygiene, storage, spills and leaks, and personal protective equipment.
- NIOSH Notes Safeguards to Prevent Explosion Risk in Industrial Ethylene Oxide Sterilization Processes. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), (May 11, 2000). Provides information about explosion risks associated with ethylene oxide sterilization processes and what can be done to eliminate these risks.
- Preventing Worker Injuries and Deaths from Explosions in Industrial Ethylene Oxide Sterilization Facilities (Revised Edition). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2007-164, (August 2007). Provides steps for employers and employees to prevent ethylene oxide (EtO) explosions.
- OSHA Technical Manual (OTM). OSHA Directive TED 01-00-015 [TED 1-0.15A], (January 20, 1999).
- Chemical Protective Clothing. Provides guidelines for the use of chemical protective clothing; ethylene oxide is specifically mentioned in portions of the document.
- Ethylene Oxide. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic.
- Clean Air Act Standards and Guidelines for Sterilizers. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).