News articles are saying there is a danger from exposure to ETHYLENE OXIDE (EtO) from the BD Bard plant in Covington. But a recent letter from the State of Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) said that testing showed levels were safe. Who should we believe?
The answer is to force officials to conduct independent testing of EtO levels near the BD Bard plant to see for ourselves what is going on. To date, the only data we have is from Bard’s own testing, the State EPD and Federal EPA have yet to conduct their own testing. It is hard to say we should just take BD Bard’s word for it that they are emitting safe levels of the known carcinogen, which is scientifically proven to cause cancer when it comes in contact with people.
Look at the example in Willowbrook Illinois, when another EtO plant owned by Sterigenics, a company not related to BD Bard. Sterigenics conducted the same self-monitoring and never reported levels above the EPA or Illinois limits. But, when the EPA began independent testing at the request of vocal citizens, local government and eventually, the state of Illinois, the testing revealed dangerous and deadly levels. From a story by CBS Chicago, “EPA Test Results Show Sterigenics Emitting High Levels Of Cancer-Causing Chemical”.
“Air quality test results just released by the EPA show ethylene oxide readings closest to the factory as high as 10 and 11 micrograms per cubic meter. That’s well above the threshold for cancer risk, and, by some estimates, 350 times the limit.”
While hazardous results by another company in Illinois are not evidence of problems in Covington, Georgia by BD Bard, the results do show the reason for independent testing. Companies who self-monitor have incentive to under-report, and when combined with the knowledge that no government or independent agency is checking the results, it can lead to inaccurate results.
Testing is not cheap and will likely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for accurate measurements verified by reliable scientist. But the independent testing is the only way to know the if the levels of cancer causing to ETHYLENE OXIDE (EtO) from the BD Bard plant in Covington are dangerous. City of Covington, Newton County, State of Georgia and Federal EPA regulators should move IMMEDIATELY to begin independent testing. The health of the people of Covington depends on it.