Ethylene Oxide in Colorado

Published Feb 7, 2023

A map of ethylene oxide-emitting facilities in metropolitan Denver, Colorado.

Colorado has four commercial sterilizers. More than 592,000 Coloradans live within five miles of at least one of these facilities (roughly 10 percent of the state population) (US Census Bureau 2020). Two of the metropolitan Denver sterilizers—Terumo BCT in Lakewood and Livanova in Arvada—are a hotspot roughly five miles apart.

The EPA has identified the Terumo facility as contributing to elevated cancer risks, with a maximum excess cancer risk level of 600 cases per 1 million people (EPA 2022e). According to the EPA’s ECHO database, this facility released 1,581 pounds of EtO in 2021. It is within five miles of roughly 267,000 people and 240 schools and childcare centers. The proportions of people of color and people with low income are also greater within five miles of this facility compared with the county overall. Western, another commercial sterilizer in Boulder, is less than 15 miles north of Livanova.