Press Releases

Congressman David Scott Demands Transparency about Health Risks for Smyrna Residents Exposed to Toxic Chemicals

Washington, July 31, 2019

Today, Congressman David Scott (GA-13) provided the following statement regarding reports of dangerous emission actions by the Sterigenics facility in Smyrna, Ga.:

“The health of the people in our community is priority number one for me,” said Congressman Scott. “I am alarmed by recent reports of the Sterigenics plant emitting dangerous levels of a toxic, cancer-causing chemical into the air. This plant is closely located near residential communities, schools, a shelter for homeless women and children, the Chattahoochee River, and an animal shelter – placing hundreds of Smyrna residents and families at serious health risk. This situation is urgent and must be rectified right away.”

Recent articles from Georgia Health News and WebMD revealed actions concerning emissions by Sterigenics of the toxic chemical ethylene oxide (EtO). The Sterigenics plant in Smyrna uses EtO to sterilize medical equipment. In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that EtO is more dangerous than initially thought and is 30 times more likely to cause certain cancers.

Scott added, “I am joining with State Representative Erick Allen and Senator Jen Jordan and calling on Sterigenics to suspend operations at their Smyrna facility until independent emissions testing may be conducted. We are also demanding transparency and an explanation as to the actions, or the lack thereof, in the management of the cancerous chemical, and communication with the Smyrna community of its associated risks. As our constituents continue to potentially be exposed to EtO, it is important that the EPA and other key organizations work together to reduce the emissions of EtO and quickly and accurately convey information on exposure risk to the community at large.”

Congressman Scott sent a letter to the EPA Administrator calling for independent testing of the air quality around Sterigenics in Smyrna and accurate information on the exposure risk to the community at large.

Additionally, Congressman Scott will join Representative Allen, Senator Jordan, and representatives from the CDC, EPA, and EPD for a town hall meeting to address these issues on Monday, August 19, at 7:00 pm, at the Cobb County Civic Center.

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