The Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, has developed a novel method of flocculation dewatering of phosphatic clay wastes using polyethylene oxide as the flocculant. Research was conducted to determine whether ethylene oxide gas was present in the air in the vicinity of disposed waste materials which had been flocculated with polyethylene oxide. Samples of clay waste materials containing polyethylene oxide were prepared in stoppered glass bottles in simulated disposal environments. Gaseous samples, removed over a 75- day period using an airtight syringe, were injected into a gas chromatograph that was capable of separating ethylene oxide from air. The presence of ethylene oxide gas was not detected in any sample. To determine possible degradation products of polyethylene oxide, the properties and reactions of ethylene oxide and its polymers were reviewed. Based upon the literature survey and experimental study, it was concluded that adverse environmental effects were not likely to result from the use of polyethylene oxide for flocculating phosphatic clay waste products.