EPA Actions Against Ethylene Oxide Pollution - Free Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1447 Words
Date:  2024-01-29

U.S. EPA is partnering with EPA in Illinois and the Medical Corporation of Lake County to resolve ethylene oxide pollution from factories in Lake County, Illinois. To assess possible next initiatives, the EPA partnered with the Illinois EPA to review data from both the Vantage and Medline installations. Four survey units in Lake County have been reported by EPA as having a significant risk of cancer of 100 in 1 million or higher from exposures to a category of air contaminants known as air toxic substances. It was calculated that the bulk of the hazard was from the contaminant ethyl acetate. Further investigations were conducted to figure out the risks, dangers, and hazards of the facilities involved.

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Airborne compounds are atmospheric products containing or are likely to have serious health complications. This may include leukemia, problems with fertility, or congenital abnormalities. Air toxicants can also have adverse chemical and environmental consequences. The EPA is mandated by segment 113 of the Clean Air Act to define the aspects of company influences for these chemical pollutants identified (Sanders et al. 2018). It also needs measures to be taken to mitigate emissions by forcing the implementation of restrictions or modifying manufacturing processes from the channels of these air pollutants. Formaldehyde, used in natural gas; tetrachloroethylene, generated from some laundry service amenities; and carbon tetrachloride, used by some companies as a cleaner and polish stripper, are descriptions of chemical contaminants.

Many of these contaminants have been identified by the EPA as probable human carcinogens, potentially carcinogenic to humans, or as tentative proof of carcinogenic effects (Sanders et al., 2018). Air toxics are also linked to many noncancerous health effects like adverse complications of the respiratory tract, immune system, reproductive and digestive systems, and vital organs like the liver, kidneys, and heart. Such medical effects can vary from nausea and dizziness to mortality and respiratory failure. Severity varies with the ingestion quantity and duration and the quality of the compound itself. It may also differ due to different people's particular habits and proclivities. Some contaminants, for instance, pose dangers to individuals of certain generations or biological profiles.

Over the past years, there have been persistent outcries from the citizens and the public about the pollution, especially from the facilities (Hegna et al., 2019). Numerous attempts have been made to settle the matter amicably. Residents have taken to the streets to demand the closure of the factories. Recent surveys showed that the risk of having cancer in a geographical region situated surrounding the plant was ten times higher than the national average. Subsequent analysis by the local health department would show cancer cluster has grown steadily over the past twenty years. The local population has researched fruitfully, organized, and organized protests, demanding the immediate closure of the plant. They further formed community groups and put pressure on the elected officials to act on the matter. The administration responded, bypassing legislative pieces that mandated every facility to control toxic emissions (Zeljezic et al., 2016).

But, due to the advent of the coronavirus in a nation whose current regime was inadequate to combat a catastrophic event, the battle against ethylene oxide-emitting installations quickly became political. The sanitization facilities were immediately in competition to help improve the availability of personal protective equipment, with COVID cases on the increase and healthcare facilities nervous about being flooded with emergencies (Hegna et al., 2019). That's despite repeated warnings from experts and policymakers about the threats to their local populations and healthcare professionals from the plants.

The state has moved in swiftly to address the issue. Bipartisan legislation passed and signed into law obligates the industries and other sterilization plants to stop leakages of toxic substances to the neighboring areas. The corporations must also decrease the legally acceptable emissions generated by cooling towers significantly (Hegna et al., 2019). Another clause of the new regulation is meant to make resuming operational activities tougher for the now-shuttered facilities. Only ethylene oxide, an extremely poisonous chemical that can cause ovarian cancer, cancer, and breast cancers at relatively low levels, can now be disinfected by hospital equipment manufacturers to approve their items.

A special tribunal set up by the Chicago Department has brought about public outrage and debate about ethylene oxide emitted by a sterilization company in the neighborhood. The mentioned region has had cancer hazards and alarms from respiring toxic materials further exceed the national amounts. The reports of the tribunal further revealed similar risks to the societies nearer (Zeljezic et al. 2016). This gave a tip to the federal detectives who are probing another facility accused of generating huge amounts of poisonous substances. The tribunal further called for the enactment of stringent measures to regulate ethylene oxide. Further demands have been made by the elected officials who have called for an autonomous investigation of EPA's reaction to the situation and have compelled the governmental authority to perform long-term air experiments in the respective areas (Al-Douri et al., 2017).

EPA has been tasked to do more to check on the excesses and emissions of the implicated companies. Its efforts have been hampered by the chemical industry's attempts to disregard the regulations set for ethylene oxide and agitating the authority to use other scientific options. In the proposed legislation EPA, made public its motives to a subgroup of chemical-producing amenities, produced by the famously economy Texas Center for Environmental Performance mandated the reduction of emissions but also recommended the use of a substantially lower preventive risk rating (Al-Douri et al., 2017). However, the EPA is expected, under the Clean Air Act, to impose pollution measures to decrease unnecessary threats and ensure the general population with a broad safety margin, not to satisfy customer requirements to continue business as normal.

At the inquiry, a delegate of the producers' organization criticized the use of the IRIS benefit of the EPA and demanded that the EPA take steps to resolve the ambiguity that persists among societies regarding the risks associated with ethylene oxide they encounter. Nothing is confusing about the potential threats that are related to ethylene oxide exposure which include various forms of cancers, that the current political dispensation has confirmed multiple times. It is impolitic to say that communities and societies are confused about the health hazards of toxic components exposure. It is crystal clear that chemical exposure is unfairly and unequally distributed (Szwiec et al., 2020).

EPA has failed to live up to the expectations of protecting people's health and welfare. The body has failed to use its scientific capacity and knowledge to enhance the welfare and well-being of the communities associated. It has failed to regulate the facilities to up-to-date standards by ensuring they use modern pollution control equipment. The facilities should enforce practices that may entail real-time monitoring and controlling that will guarantee the citizens' better and safer health status (Szwiec et al., 2020). EPA should lend an ear to the societies that are agitating for change. The agency should move swiftly and use its mandate under the Section of the Clean Act to give knowledge by the feasible science available to safeguard from inappropriate cancer threats.

The passage of bills will be instrumental in controlling the emission of poisonous compounds in the environment. Consequently, the laws enacted must be adhered to by the facilities to ensure safety standards are achieved. The economic repercussions of the emissions are dire. Citizens who suffer from pollution-related illnesses are compelled to use more funds to seek healthcare attention.


In conclusion, the U.S. EPA is partnering with the EPA in Illinois and the Medical Corporation of Lake County to resolve ethylene oxide pollution from factories in Lake County, Illinois. To assess possible next initiatives, the EPA partnered with the Illinois EPA to review data from both the Vantage and Medline installations. The passage of bills will be instrumental in controlling the emission of poisonous compounds in the environment. Consequently, the laws enacted must be adhered to by the facilities to ensure safety standards are achieved.


Al-Douri, A., Sengupta, D., & El-Halwagi, M. M. (2017). Shale gas monetization–A review of downstream processing to chemicals and fuels. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 45, 436-455.

Hegna, J., Scribner, K., & Baker, E. (2019). Evaluation of optimal surgical techniques for intracoelomic transmitter implantation in age-0 lake sturgeon. Fisheries Research, 218, 198-208.

Sanders, J. P. (2018). A Novel Equilibrium Passive Sampler for Methylmercury and Other Advances in Monitoring and Activated Carbon Remediation for Mercury and PCBs. University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Szwiec, E., Friedman, L., & Buchanan, S. (2020). Levels of Ethylene Oxide Biomarker in an Exposed Residential Community. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(22), 8646.

Zeljezic, D., Mladinic, M., Kopjar, N., & Radulovic, A. H. (2016). Evaluation of genome damage in subjects occupationally exposed to possible carcinogens. Toxicology and industrial health, 32(9), 1570-1580.

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EPA Actions Against Ethylene Oxide Pollution - Free Paper Example. (2024, Jan 29). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/epa-actions-against-ethylene-oxide-pollution-free-paper-example

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