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Environment & Energy Report

New Illinois Ethylene Oxide Laws Are Nation’s Toughest: Governor

June 21, 2019, 10:23 PM

Newly enacted Illinois legislation will limit or prohibit the use of ethylene oxide for commercial purposes—a response to elevated emissions of the flammable gas at a Chicago-area facility that a state agency shut down.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) June 21 signed two bills into law that he said create the strictest regulations surrounding the use of ethylene oxide in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency said ethylene oxide—which is used in sterilizing medical equipment—may elevate the risk of cancer.

The first, SB 1852, prohibits ethylene oxide’s use in medical sterilization facilities in Illinois unless a facility captures...

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