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The US Environmental Protection Agency plans to hold a community meeting to discuss a medical device sterilizing plant in Memphis whose emissions have been linked to the use of a hazardous chemical, health officials said.

The EPA said Wednesday that 23 commercial sterilizers in 13 states and Puerto Rico used ethylene oxide. Ethylene oxide emissions increase the risk of cancer and other diseases, the agency said.

One of the facilities, Sterilization Services of Tennessee, is located in South Memphis. The Shelby County Health Department said it will hold a meeting on Sept. 8 to discuss the results of EPA’s air sampling around the EPA location.

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This facility has been functioning since 1976. The county health department’s air program has allowed the facility since 1985, officials said.

Memphis sterilization plant set to discuss EPA findings on cancer risks.

Memphis sterilization plant set to discuss EPA findings on cancer risks.

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Residents can register for the public meeting on the EPA website.

Ethylene oxide is used to clean catheters, syringes, pacemakers, plastic surgical gowns, and other items.

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Although short-term or infrequent exposure to ethylene oxide does not appear to pose a health risk, long-term or lifelong exposure to the chemical can lead to a range of health effects, including lymphoma and breast cancer, the EPA said. The EPA said it is working with commercial sterilizers to take appropriate measures to reduce emissions.