Sterigenics announces temporary shutdown to install emission-reduction equipment

Sterigenics sign in article about lawsuit Sterigenics, BD BardSterigenics (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

In a press release issued today, Sterigenics announced a temporary plant shutdown and expedited schedule for installation of emissions reduction equipment approved recently by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD).

The company wrote that they now expect to have the equipment installed by the first week in October (see the complete press release at the bottom of this post).

Background on the Sterigenics issue

The Sterigenics plant became a focus of community concern after an article jointly published by Georgia Health News and WebMD reported that three census tracts, two in the Smyrna area and one in Covington, had unacceptable levels of cancer risk by EPA standards, due to elevated amounts of ethylene oxide in the air.

The Sterigenics press release

The text of today’s press release from Sterigenics is copied below:


Expedited schedule will enable complete installation of enhancements by the first week in October

Sterilization operations will be suspended until construction is complete September 6, 2019 –

Atlanta, GA – Sterigenics, a leading provider of mission-critical sterilization services, today announced that it now expects to complete the installation of enhancements to further reduce ethylene oxide (EO) emissions at its Atlanta facility by the first week in October, well ahead of its initial estimates, and released the following statement:

“At the request of Governor Kemp and the EPD, Sterigenics has been working to expedite the installation of technology enhancements to our Atlanta facility and, as previously announced, has been operating under a reduced production schedule. The construction is proceeding ahead of schedule.

We have determined that suspending sterilization operations, and the use of EO in those operations,throughout the duration of the work will enable us to further accelerate the installation of these enhancements and that doing so is the most efficient path to meeting the requests of all stakeholders.

“As we implement these enhancements to ensure that our facility operates in line with the highest control standards in the country, our team is also working with customers to minimize the impact on the supply of vital sterile medical products to hospitals and the patients who depend on them every day.”