Sound public policy can only be established when it is grounded in the facts. Unfortunately, the citizens of Cobb County continue to be subjected to misinformation about the safe operation of Sterigenics’ Atlanta facility and the vital role it plays in sterilizing medical products.
The fact is, the facility is safe. That’s true today and has been for decades as the facility has remained an industry leader, consistently outperforming regulatory standards. Additionally, we voluntarily installed enhancements to the facility, making it one of the most advanced ethylene oxide sterilization facilities in the world for overall EO emission control.
Dick Yarbrough’s opinion column on Sept. 2, 2020 suggests that Sterigenics’ pursuit of legal actions to protect its essential sterilization operations is ill-conceived and that our actions are at the expense of public safety. Mr. Yarbrough appears to have been provided false information.
The public relies on companies like Sterigenics to safely sterilize medical products and devices. According to the FDA, more than 20 billion devices sold in the U.S. every year are sterilized with EO and more than 50% of the products that require sterilization in the U.S. are sterilized using EO. These include life-saving IV tubing, blood filtration and surgical devices, as well as protective barriers to prevent infection. The ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic has served to highlight the critical nature of the medical product supply chain, including the sterilization services Sterigenics provides.
We take our responsibility very seriously. That is why we operate with a steadfast commitment to protect our employees and communities, together with the patients and healthcare workers who rely on the essential service we provide.
The Georgia EPD has consistently confirmed that the facility is in full compliance with all state and federal air regulations. US EPA has also confirmed that the facility’s low emissions are within the range directed by the Clean Air Act for evaluating safety.
On a local level, Cobb County consistently certified that the Sterigenics facility complied with applicable County fire and building codes in connection with approved expansions and developments over the last 40 years.
We must put an end to the baseless and politically motivated claims leveled against Sterigenics’ operations. Safety and good public policy demand an honest review of EO sterilization that is based on the facts.
Sterigenics’ commitment remains clear — we operate in a safe and transparent manner in the interest of public health and intend to continue to do nothing less.