Sterigenics, the Illinois-based company whose chemical emissions have outraged residents of the Smyrna area in recent weeks, has received approval from the state to install new technology to reduce emissions, according to a news release.
Last month, Georgia Health News and WebMD cited a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which estimated the population around Sterigenics’ Smyrna-area plant can expect 114 extra cases of cancer for every million people exposed over their lifetimes.
In the plant, Sterigenics uses a chemical called ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment. In 2016, the EPA classified ethylene oxide as a human carcinogen.
The company previously said it had reduced emissions by 90 percent over the last five years and plans to further reduce potentially dangerous emissions.
On Saturday, the company sent a statement to reporters announcing those plans had been approved.
“Sterigenics is pleased that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division has reviewed and approved our application to implement additional enhancements at our Atlanta facility. These voluntary enhancements will further reduce the minimal ethylene oxide emissions from our facility in line with the highest control standards in the country.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Georgia EPD, the Kemp Administration and other federal, state and local officials to move quickly to install the best available technology at our facility, consistent with our commitment to keep our employees and our community safe. Upon completion, these enhancements will enable our facility to further outperform regulatory standards and provide additional assurances to members of the community that they are safe, as we continue to sterilize vital medical products and devices for patients across the country.”