Ethylene Oxide as Disinfection During COVID-19
SPH's Dr. Peter Orris, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and chief of environmental and occupational medicine at the University of Illinois Hospital at Chicago, was quoted in a Politico article about the use of ethylene oxide to disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE). Orris cautioned that there may be potential for ethylene oxide residue to remain on masks and said using hydrogen peroxide vapor would be a safer way to disinfect PPE.
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If the ramp up is only a short-term response to the pandemic, it may not pose a significant risk to neighboring communities, said Peter Orris, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System. That’s because the most serious health effects come from breathing in ethylene oxide over a long period of time.