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Plant in Georgia Reports Eight-Day Leak of Ethylene Oxide in Smyrna, Georgia


October 09, 2019

SMYRNA, GA – According to an online article at webmd.com, a medical supply sterilizing facility located east of Atlanta is now under scrutiny due to an eight-day leak of ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic substance.  The incident occurred late last month.*

The City of Covington released a report on the leak at the BD facility, indicating that it released about seven pounds of ethylene oxide per day, with a total of 54 pounds during the eight-day period.

According to state regulations, they do not require that sterilizing companies report leaks of less than ten pounds per day however, BD put the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) on notice as to the leak.  EPD indicates that the facility has had numerous releases of the chemical that have been unreported over the past five years. Each release was less than ten pounds, per the company.  

The leak was caused by a roof valve that had been improperly closed.  This occurred as the city was conducting air tests in the plant’s vicinity to ascertain the level of ethylene oxide emissions.  

Local politicians and leaders in the community are calling for the independent testing of the air located around the sterilizing facility amid concerns about the risks of cancer associated with ethylene oxide exposure.  

Back in 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency classified ethylene oxide as a carcinogenic substance. Per an employee of the Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment, which contracted with BD, he notes that the 54 pounds of ethylene oxide that was released over the eight-day period “is of no concern to me from a cancer point of view.”  

Nonetheless, an environmental engineer and consultant of the Southern Environmental Law Center indicates that the 54-pound leak “is a substantial amount because the compound is a carcinogen.”

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Sources:https://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20191004/georgia-plant-reports-8-da-ethylene-oxide-leak and https://cityofcovington.org/ckeditorfiles/files/2019_Incident%20ReportCov%2027_sept19_EPD.pdf

* This blog is intended to provide the public with news concerning serious automobile accidents and related stories. Although we are receiving this information from news organizations, initial reports may be different from conclusions reached by law enforcement personnel and other organizations, upon further investigation. Therefore, the accuracy of the content is not guaranteed. The information published here is based on information that has already been reported by a news organization, or other sources, and we cannot and do not assume responsibility for its accuracy. The source that we utilized at the time is provided above. If this posting pertains to you or your family and you do not wish for it to be on our website, please email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to remove it, but when doing so, please include a link to the the article that you wish to be taken down.

Category: Accident News

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