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Tom Flanagin
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WASHINGTON (June 21, 2019) – Today, the American Chemistry Council issued the following statement after Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker signed into law two ethylene oxide (EO) bills, SB 1852 and SB 1854:

“Legislation based off of concerns that stem from the EPA’s severely flawed IRIS value for EO is misguided. The EPA’s IRIS value dramatically overestimates the potential hazard of EO, deeming it unsafe at levels far below levels found in the environment and ignoring the natural levels of EO in humans created by normal breathing. In fact, the EO cancer value derived from EPA’s modeling is 19,000 times lower than the normal, naturally-created levels of EO in the human body.

“For many years, ACC has raised substantive and serious concerns about EPA’s derivation of the EO IRIS value and EPA’s lack of transparency, failure to incorporate best and complete available science, and resistance to any reform. ACC is not alone in its concerns. Two EPA Science Advisory Boards outlined additional key issues with the EO IRIS assessment, many of which were ignored. Recently, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) filed comments stating that, ‘the USEPA unit risk factor (URF) for ethylene oxide is not scientifically justified.’

“EO is an important chemical primarily used to make other chemical products and substances. These products include certain plastics, adhesives, antifreeze, safety glass, and textiles. The EO production industry supports more than 45,000 jobs and provides approximately $3.5 billion in direct value to the U.S. economy.

“We support efforts to protect the public health; however, EPA IRIS values are not intended to be regulatory standards. The flawed EO IRIS value has created unnecessary alarm and has led the FDA to announce possible shortages of medical devices that are sterilized with this important chemical. We will continue to work with EPA, state regulators and lawmakers across the country to ensure that the best available science is used to protect the public health.”

Additional background:
ACC Requests Correction to Information Used In National Air Toxics Assessment


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