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Ethylene Oxide Exposure


Ethylene Oxide Exposure Claims

New Orleans Ethylene Oxide Attorneys

If you live in certain parts of Louisiana, you and your family may be unknowingly inhaling a harmful chemical and inadvertently increasing your risk of cancer. Ethylene oxide pollution is an invisible threat affecting residents across the state and the nation. Chemical plants across Louisiana emit this harmful substance into the air, creating a series of short-term and long-term adverse health effects for individuals and families who live nearby.

We encourage anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer after living near a chemical plant to call The Voorhies Law Firm today. Our experienced legal team can help you hold chemical plants accountable and create lasting change in your community.

Don’t let manufacturers take advantage of you – call us at (504) 875-2223 today!

What Is Ethylene Oxide?

Ethylene Oxide (EtO) is a flammable, colorless gas used to fumigate spices and seasonings, sanitize certain medical equipment, and produce plastics and other chemicals (like antifreeze). At room temperature and high concentrations (of 500 ppm or more), EtO has a sweet, ether-like odor.

In addition to its many uses, EtO is a known human carcinogen and classified as such by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This means the substance can cause cancer in humans.

When chemical plants manufacture ingredients for household products or sanitize medical and dental equipment using EtO, the gas can be released into the air. Once in the atmosphere, EtO can stick around for 69 to 149 days.

Although EtO is effective for its industrial uses because it kills DNA, it is carcinogenic for the same reasons.

Inhaling or ingesting ethylene oxide can cause serious short-term and long-term health problems. While the Clean Air Act of 1967 limits the overall amount of pollution a chemical plant can emit, there are no hard and fast limits for the amount of EtO allowed in the air. Air quality can be difficult to monitor, and any exposure to a carcinogen can increase your risk of cancer.

Effects of Ethylene Oxide Exposure

People who work around EtO are at the highest risk for ethylene oxide exposure, but anyone who ingests or inhales the substance can suffer adverse health effects.

Short-term effects of ethylene oxide exposure include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion
  • Chemical burns
  • Central nervous system depression
  • Irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, and throat
  • And more

Typically, people only experience short-term effects around large concentrations of EtO. More often, they are exposed over time.

The consequences of chronic (long-term) exposure include:

  • Damage to the brain and central nervous system
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Leukemia, lymphoma, and other lymphoid cancers
  • Stomach and breast cancers
  • Increased rates of miscarriage
  • Birth defects
  • Mutagenic changes (mutations)
  • Reproductive harm in men and women
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The short-term and long-term effects of ethylene oxide poisoning are horrendous, and you should not have to deal with them alone.

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Contact The Voorhies Law Firm to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our New Orleans experienced attorneys.

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