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Definition of Ethylene oxide

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.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=13440
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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