Background Information on Becton Dickinson Covington, Georgia Facility
EPA’s National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) is intended to help EPA and state, local, and tribal air agencies determine if areas, pollutants, or types of pollution sources need to be examined further to better understand risks to public health.
The latest NATA identified five census tracts in Region 4 as having potential total cancer risks of greater than 100 in 1 million from exposure to a group of hazardous air pollutants, commonly known as air toxics. In each census tract, the majority of the risk was estimated to be from the chemical ethylene oxide (EtO).
One of the five identified census tracts are near the Becton Dickinson facility in Covington, Georgia, which uses EtO to sterilize its customers’ products, such as healthcare-related equipment and materials. Since the release of the NATA results in August 2018, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has worked with the Becton Dickinson facility to obtain updated emissions estimates of EtO from the facility. In addition, Becton Dickinson is working with Georgia EPD to identify solutions to reduce their EtO emissions and is evaluating them in order to better understand what those emissions may mean for surrounding communities.
The EPA, together with the Georgia EPD Exit, has briefed city and county officials representing constituents near the facility. Since the 2014 NATA was released, EPD has been working to better assess and address risk concerns. View more information on Georgia EPD activities. Exit