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Preventing worker injuries and deaths from explosions in industrial ethylene oxide sterilization facilities
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    "The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Ethylene Oxide Sterilization Association (EOSA) request assistance in preventing explosions at industrial ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilization facilities and EtO repackaging plants. EtO is a flammable gas. During sterilization procedures, EtO can easily form explosive mixtures when it is vented to certain types of emission control devices such as catalytic oxidizers. Between 1994 and 1998, EtO was involved in 10 explosions at industrial EtO sterilization facilities and EtO repackaging plants. One of these explosions caused 1 death and 59 injuries among workers. All of these incidents caused damage to the plants, most of which used catalytic oxidizers to control EtO emissions. This Alert informs owners, managers, supervisors, engineers, safety professionals, and workers about the explosions, injuries, and deaths that may occur at industrial EtO sterilization facilities and repackaging plants. Steps are recommended for preventing these explosions." - NIOSHTIC-2

    "EPA Publication No. 550-F-99-018."

    >This supersedes NIOSH Publication 2000-119.

    "The principal contributors to this Alert were John Palassis (NIOSH, Education and Information Division), Craig Matthiessen (EPA, Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office), Armando Santiago (U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board), Joseph Hadley (EOSA), Anthony D. LaMontagne, Sc.D. (the University of Melbourne, School of Population Health), and Arthur Harris (Chicago Sterilization Services). NIOSH staff who provided critical review of this document were Stephen Berardinelli, Ph.D.; Robert Chaiken, Ph.D.; Jerome Flesch; Charles Lazzara, Ph.D.; Michael Sapko; Marie Haring Sweeney, Ph.D.; David Votaw; Isaac Zlochower, Ph.D.; and Ralph Zumwalde. Editorial services were provided by Anne Hamilton, Susan Feldmann, and Jane Weber. Susan Kaelin and Vanessa Becks provided layout and design."- p. 12

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