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Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies' Sterilization Use
Medical device sterilization helps ensure patient safety
Overview Committed to Compliance FAQs

To Our Community

We understand you may have questions about our use of ethylene oxide (EtO) at our Lakewood, Colorado, campus. Given our broader healthcare mission and focus on community and patient safety, we would like to provide you with information about our company and our use of EtO for the sterilization of critical medical devices.

We remain committed to the health and safety of our employees, the community, and the millions of patients and blood donors we serve with our products. This includes ensuring that public health and safety precautions extend to our employees and to our neighbors and families in the communities where we work.

Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies (Terumo BCT) cares deeply about our employees and the surrounding community. We are committed to operating our Lakewood facility safely and continuing to meet the needs of patients who rely on our life-saving healthcare products.

We invite you to review our detailed Fact Sheet along with highlights below.

Thank you for your interest in our work.

Download Our Fact Sheet

Our Facility, Our People, and Our Community

Jefferson County has been home to our company for over 50 years. Many of our employees live, work, and raise their families in the surrounding community.

  • Our organization was founded in Lakewood, Colorado, as COBE Laboratories in 1967.
  • Our current medical device sterilization facility became operational in 2000.
  • We employ about 2,000 people in Colorado — 18 team members work in our Lakewood medical device sterilization facility, which is part of our larger campus of office and manufacturing facilities in Lakewood.

At a Glance

50% of all medical products are sterilized using EtO.

EtO is the only viable sterilization option for many important medical devices.

Less than 1% of all EtO used for industrial purposes is used for medical product sterilization.

Our use of EtO meets all relevant control requirements.

Terumo BCT goes above and beyond compliance.

CDPHE has found no increase in cancer cases in the area around Terumo BCT compared to the rest of Colorado.

Terumo BCT supports EPA’s nationwide review of EtO emissions standards.

Terumo BCT is doing more — installing a state-of-the-art emissions control system.

Our Position on Ethylene Oxide

What Is EtO?

EtO is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a sterilization agent with a documented history of safe and effective use across the country. It is the most commonly used sterilization compound in the U.S. The majority of medical devices manufactured today in the U.S. are sterilized using EtO, including heart valves, pacemakers, surgical kits, gowns, drapes, ventilators, syringes, and catheters, among many others.

Responsible Use

At Terumo BCT, we operate our sterilization facility according to the stringent regulations, conditions, and limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and other government agencies. We believe that EtO can be used responsibly with sterilization processes that are both safe and effective.

What We Make

We make critical healthcare products that help save lives. Our products collect blood and cells from healthy donors, process blood and cells, and deliver effective therapy to patients. Blood and cells are indispensable in sustaining our lives, and at the same time, they hold the potential to treat many serious diseases. A simple way to think of it is this: If you have ever donated blood or stem cells, or had a friend or family member receive a blood transfusion or a cellular therapy, you have likely interacted with our products. Our customers include blood centers, hospitals, therapeutic apheresis clinics, cell collection and processing organizations, researchers, plasma centers, and private medical practices. Our customers are located across the U.S. and in over 130 countries.

Why We Use EtO

Like many medical device manufacturers and hospitals, we use EtO to sterilize many of our products to ensure donor and patient safety. At our facility in Lakewood, we sterilize products that are used to collect blood and stem cells from healthy donors and that help treat patients or improve their quality of life. For example, our Spectra Optia® Apheresis System* is used to treat sickle cell disease patients by collecting a patient’s damaged red blood cells and replacing them with red blood cells from a healthy donor.

*Procedure availability varies by country.

How We Use EtO

Our sterilization facility in Lakewood is designed to keep employee exposure to EtO below action levels set by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and facility emissions well below permitted levels set by the EPA and CDPHE. Medical products are sterilized within specially designed chambers at the facility. Our emission control equipment captures more than 99% of the EtO we use in the sterilization process and converts it into ethylene glycol, which is recycled for use as a primary ingredient in antifreeze for cars.


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