The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to limit the use of a chemical called ethylene oxide. This chemical is used to sterilize medical items like surgical gowns, gloves, and catheters, but it can also cause cancer. The proposed rules would apply to 86 facilities in the US that use this chemical. The new rules aim to reduce the amount of ethylene oxide gas in the air by 80%, which is supposed to make it safer for people. However, some devices still need to use ethylene oxide for sterilization.

The new rules require companies to use protective equipment and new controls to keep the amount of ethylene oxide in the air low. The EPA will listen to people’s comments on the rules for 60 days. While some groups have welcomed the move, they also say that it doesn’t go far enough to protect vulnerable communities.