Medical Definition of Ethylene oxide

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Ethylene oxide: A chemical widely used in the health care industry to sterilize medical devices and also used to make other chemicals.

In the year 2000 the US government upgraded ethylene oxide to the status of a "known human carcinogen." There is an increased risk for leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in workers exposed to ethylene oxide.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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