Toxic substances list: ethylene oxide

Domestic production of ethylene oxide in 1996 was 625 kilotonnes, 95% of which was used in the manufacture of ethylene glycol. An estimated 4% was used in the manufacture of surfactants. Ethylene oxide is also used as a sterilant for health care materials and other heat-sensitive products. Anthropogenic sources, released an estimated 47 tonnes, all to the atmosphere, in 2000. Of this total, 29 tonnes were released from sterilization applications and 18 tonnes by the chemical industry.

For information on Canada's international engagement on this substance, please visit:

CAS (Chemical Abstract Service) registry number: 75-21-8

Risk assessment


This substance is entering the environment from the following sources:

Risk management strategy

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Risk management tools

Tools developed to manage risks associated with the substance:

Other information



Substances Management Information Line
Chemicals Management Plan
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3

Telephone: 1-800-567-1999  (in Canada) or 819-938-3232
Fax: 819-938-3231


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