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Background Information on Sterigenics' Smyrna, Georgia Facility

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Background

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).

Two of the three identified census tracts are near the Sterigenics facility in Smyrna, 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 Sterigenics facility to obtain updated emissions estimates of EtO from the facility and is evaluating them in order to better understand what those emissions may mean for surrounding communities.  In addition, on July 30, 2019, Sterigenics submitted a permit modification to the Georgia EPD for installation of new, anti-pollution controls to vastly reduce ethylene oxide emissions at its Smyrna facility. 

Please visit the Georgia EPD website for more information on the Sterigenics facility EXIT

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Coordination Among Agencies

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 activitiesExit

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