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Ethylene Oxide used in RAT tests

Erica made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

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From: Erica

Dear Ministry of Health,

Please can you confirm the following;
1) is ethylene oxide present on the RAT test swabs used in New Zealand currently?
2) is ethylene oxide a known carcinogen?
3) if so, does this present a public safety / health risk by exposing sensitive cells to a cancer causing chemical?

Yours faithfully,

Erica

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From: OIA Requests

Thank you for your Official Information Act request. This is
an automatic reply to let you know we received it.

In accordance with the Act, we'll let you know our decision within no more
than 20 working days. If you'd like to calculate the timeframe, you can
use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [1]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. This
means we may take some time in responding to your request. The Ministry
regularly updates information about the COVID-19 situation and publishes
OIA responses considered to be of public interest:
[2]https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...

Please also refer to the Unite Against Covid-19 website for copies of
papers, minutes, and key advice for the decisions the Government has made
relating to COVID-19.

Sometimes we may need to clarify aspects of a request. You can expect to
hear from us soon if that is the case here.

Ngā mihi,

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [3][email address]

 

 

 

 

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2. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
3. mailto:[email address]

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From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Erica,

 

Thank you for your request for official information. The Ministry's
reference number for your request is: H202205442

 

As required under the Official Information Act 1982, the Ministry will
endeavour to respond to your request no later than 20 working days after
the day your request was received. If you'd like to calculate the
timeframe, you can use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [1]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

 

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. If
we are unable to respond to your request within this time frame, we will
notify you of an extension of that time frame.

 

If you have any queries related to this request, please do not hesitate to
get in touch.

 

Ngā mihi

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [2][email address]

 

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From: OIA Requests


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Tçnâ koe Erica,

 

Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the
Act) to the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) on 15 April 2022 regarding
rapid antigen tests and ethylene oxide. You asked:

 

“1) is ethylene oxide present on the RAT test swabs used in New Zealand
currently?
2) is ethylene oxide a known carcinogen?
3) if so, does this present a public safety / health risk by exposing
sensitive cells to a cancer causing chemical?”

 

The Ministry does not hold information for part two of your request,
however I have been advised this information is held by the Environmental
Protection Authority (EPA). For this reason, I have decided to partially
transfer part two of your request to EPA under section 14(b)(i) of the
Act. You can expect a response from EPA in due course.

 

Under section 28(3) of the Act, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [1][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602.

 

Nâku noa, nâ

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [2][email address]

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]

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From: OIA Requests


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Tçnâ koe Erica

 

Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the
Act) to the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) on 15 April 2022 regarding
Rapid Antigen tests (RATs) and ethylene oxide. I will respond to each part
of your request in turn:

 

1) is ethylene oxide present on the RAT test swabs used in New Zealand
currently?

 

A list of all approved RATs by the Ministry is available here:
[1]www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/covid-19-testing/rapid-antigen-testing-rat#regulatory.
Please refer to the label on the packaging for use of ethylene oxide.

Note ethylene oxide is a surface disinfectant that is widely used in
hospitals and the medical equipment industry to replace steam in the
sterilization of heat-sensitive tools and equipment. Long term exposure to
ethylene oxide increases the risk of some cancers.

 

Further information on ethylene oxide can be found on the Environmental
Production Authority’s (EPA) website:
[2]www.epa.govt.nz/database-search/approved-hazardous-substances-with-controls/view/BEC1BF50-C250-43B4-A8B7-A57575380AFD.

2) is ethylene oxide a known carcinogen?

 

On 5 April 2022, this part of your request was transferred to EPA. You can
expect a response from EPA in due course.

3) if so, does this present a public safety / health risk by exposing
sensitive cells to a cancer causing chemical?

               

The Ministry understands you have made a similar request on ethylene oxide
published here:
[3]https://fyi.org.nz/request/15013-use-of-....
Please refer to your previous request for further information.

 

Under section 28(3) of the Act, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [4][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602.

 

Ngâ mihi 

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [5][email address]

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-novel...
2. http://www.epa.govt.nz/database-search/a...
3. https://fyi.org.nz/request/15013-use-of-...
4. mailto:[email address]
5. mailto:[email address]

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From: Ministerials


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Good afternoon

Please find attached a response to the part of your Official Information
Act request that was transferred to the EPA (question 2).

Kind regards,

 

Lisa MacKenzie (she/her)

Official Correspondence Advisor, Government Engagement and Official
Correspondence

 

+64 4 474 5442 

 

[1]EPA_logo_teal_96dpi

 

Follow us on [2]Facebook, [3]Twitter and [4]LinkedIn.

 

Our New Zealand Business Number Is 9429041901977.

 

This email message and any attachment(s) are intended for the addressee(s)
only.

If you receive this message in error, please notify the sender and delete
the message and any attachment(s).

 

From: OIA Requests <[email address]>
Sent: Thursday, 5 May 2022 4:04 pm
To: [FOI #19141 email]
Subject: Partial transfer of your request (ref: H202205442)

 

Tçnâ koe Erica,

 

Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the
Act) to the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) on 15 April 2022 regarding
rapid antigen tests and ethylene oxide. You asked:

 

“1) is ethylene oxide present on the RAT test swabs used in New Zealand
currently?
2) is ethylene oxide a known carcinogen?
3) if so, does this present a public safety / health risk by exposing
sensitive cells to a cancer causing chemical?”

 

The Ministry does not hold information for part two of your request,
however I have been advised this information is held by the Environmental
Protection Authority (EPA). For this reason, I have decided to partially
transfer part two of your request to EPA under section 14(b)(i) of the
Act. You can expect a response from EPA in due course.

 

Under section 28(3) of the Act, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [5][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602.

 

Nâku noa, nâ

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [6][email address]

 

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.epa.govt.nz/
2. https://www.facebook.com/EPAgovtNZ/
3. https://twitter.com/EPAgovtnz
4. https://www.linkedin.com/company/epagovt...
5. mailto:[email address]
6. mailto:[email address]

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