Bio Nebraska testifies at EPA hearing on ethylene oxide sterilization

Rob Owen, Executive Director of Bio Nebraska, testified on May 3, 2023, at a public hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to reduce the amount of ethylene oxide that comes out of commercial sterilizers. 

In his comments, Owen referenced that ethylene oxide is used in 50 percent of all medical devices sterilized in the U.S., with ethylene oxide being the only viable option for many devices. He added that hundreds of thousands of healthcare facilities rely on ethylene oxide to sterilize devices and equipment for the safety of millions of patients ever year, and a reduction in ethylene oxide capacity could disrupt access to sterile medical devices and put reliable healthcare and patient safety at risk. 

Furthermore, Owen urged the EPA to provide a longer comment period for its proposal to help ensure sufficient review and more comprehensive comments, including important guidance from toxicologists, healthcare providers, medical technology companies, sterilizers, and patients.