Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ethylene Oxide Exposure and Minnesota Workers’ Compensation

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a flammable, colorless gas (above 51.3 degrees Fahrenheit) that smells like ether at toxic levels. It is found in the production of solvents, antifreeze, textiles, detergents, adhesives, polyurethane foam, and pharmaceuticals. It can also be found in fumigants, sterilants for spices and cosmetics, and surgical equipment sterilizers.

Exposure to ethylene oxide can cause eye and throat irritation, difficulty breathing, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, headache, convulsions, blisters, vomiting, and coughing. Exposure to EtO has also been linked to leukemia and other cancers, spontaneous abortion, genetic damage, nerve damage, peripheral paralysis, muscle weakness, as well as impaired thinking and memory. In liquid form EtO can cause severe skin irritation with prolonged or confined contact.

To learn more about Ethylene oxide in the workplace, read OSHA’s Ethylene Oxide Factsheet.

In Minnesota, workers who suffer injuries or illnesses related to chemical exposure at work are often eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including wage loss benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, and medical expense benefits.

Injuries or illnesses caused by chemical exposure are often difficult to prove, as these types of injuries or illnesses may develop over a long period of time, or the symptoms of these illnesses or injuries can be similar to other non-work related conditions.

A Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer can help evaluate your claim if you’ve suffered an illness or injury due to ethylene oxide exposure or any other chemical exposure at work. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680, or click here to send us an email. 



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