Ethylene oxide to be reclassified as restricted chemical instead of being prohibited

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Ethylene oxide, previously listed as a prohibited chemical, will now be classified as a restricted chemical, according to the Central Leading Body for the Prevention of Hazards from Chemicals and Related Substances.
Union Minister Dr Thet Khaing Win, Vice-Chairman of the Central Leading Body, said at its meeting on 14 May that as ethylene oxide can cause diseases such as cancer, specific guidelines regarding its usage, quantity, and application areas must be outlined for issuing licences.
Ethylene oxide is a hazardous substance primarily used in industries such as hand washing, printing, dyeing, and as a cleaning agent in chemical industries. Despite its historical use for sterilization, it poses significant risks due to its flammability and explosiveness, making long-distance transportation challenging. American chemist Lloyd Hall patented the ethylene oxide sterilization method in 1938, and the method is still in use. — TWA/MKKS

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