EPA’s Final EtO Rule Has Landed: What Now?


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released their long-awaited final rule regulating ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions from commercial sterilizers. The final rule comes after five years of development, over 1,000 comments, and with estimated compliance costs for industry of up to $900 million.

The final rule differs significantly from EPA’s initial proposed rule. See initial proposal back in April 2023. The changes result in a still restrictive and costly rule, but with more time and options for compliance. These changes come after significant interagency discussions, including discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the impact of these rules on the medical devices, about half of which are currently sterilized by EtO. According to EPA, there will be no need for companies to revalidate their medical devices due to this final rule. It seems likely, however, that a facility’s ability to comply with the new regulation ultimately may affect sterility validation, so revalidation concerns should not be completely discounted just yet.

Read the full article on the Faegre Drinker website.

Aaron L. Szabo was a co-author to the article.

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About the Author: Adrienne Franco Busby

Adrienne Franco Busby puts science and strategy to work for companies facing product liability litigation. She is an experienced litigator in product liability, commercial, employment, class action and mass tort matters.

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