Ethylene Oxide in New Jersey

Published Feb 7, 2023

A map of ethylene oxide-emitting facilities in New Jersey/Metropolitan New York City

New Jersey has three commercial sterilizers. More than 716,000 New Jerseyans (roughly 8 percent of the state population) live within five miles of them (US Census Bureau 2020).

In metropolitan New York City, just over the border in New Jersey, two sterilizers are roughly 12 miles apart—EtO Sterilization in Linden and Steris Isomedix in South Plainfield. The EPA identified EtO Sterilization, which sterilizes spices and nuts, as contributing to elevated cancer risks, with a maximum excess cancer risk level of 2,000 additional cases per 1 million people (EPA 2022h). The facility is within five miles of nearly 387,000 people and 350 schools and childcare centers; it is the sterilizer in the most populous community of all facilities outside of California. It is also in a community with a higher proportion of people of color, people with low income, and people with limited English language proficiency compared with the county overall.