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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


ethylene oxide  listen  (EH-thuh-leen OK-side)

  A chemical used to make antifreeze, to clean medical equipment, and as a pesticide. It is also found in tobacco smoke. Being exposed to ethylene oxide can cause lung damage, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and shortness of breath. Being exposed over a long time may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.