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What Is Ethylene Oxide?

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a flammable, colorless gas at temperatures above 51.3 ºF (10.7 ºC) that smells like ether at toxic levels. EtO is found in the production of solvents, antifreeze, textiles, detergents, adhesives, polyurethane foam, and pharmaceuticals. Smaller amounts are present in fumigants, sterilants for spices and cosmetics, as well as during hospital sterilization of surgical equipment.

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