Toxic Air Report – On Friday WebMD and Georgia Health News

On Friday, WebMD and Georgia Health News announced that Georgia had three census zones that Georgia had identified as having a higher cancer risk because they had a toxic gas called ethylene oxide. “So many questions”, said a man on Facebook against Newton Citizen, the local newspaper Covington who published the article as a media partner for Georgia Health News. In Covington, City Council members discussed revelations about ethylene oxide contamination at a regular meeting on Monday night. All areas of the census are located in the Atlanta metropolitan area: two in the Smyrna area west of the city and one in Covington, east of Atlanta. Smyrna and Covington local governments have posted statements on their websites to reassure residents that they have heard about the problem for the first time, but are now starting to work on it. At the national level, 109 counting routes are at risk of major cancers, mainly due to exposure to ethylene oxide, a chemical used to sterilise medical equipment and to produce other types of products, such as antifreeze. “I am incredibly shocked, scared and angry to learn more about this plant,” said a woman who posted on Stop Sterigenics’ Facebook public page. Erick Allen, a Democrat representing Smyrna District 40, wrote on Facebook that “he” hoped Sterigenics would work to make its operations safer without waiting to be prosecuted, as was the case in Illinois. Karen Hays, Director of Air Protection, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, Atlanta. This story is shared by Brenda Goodman from WebMD and Andy Miller from Georgia Health News. In the Izmir region, citizens prepared a general meeting for Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Atlanta Freethought Society on Nordkirchenweg. In Izmir, the ethylene oxide free plant is called Sterigene. Tony Adams, an Izmir resident who participated in organizing the meeting, described the community’s response to the district’s online Nextdoor group as “overwhelming. They organized themselves last August after learning about ethylene oxide pollution and the increased risk of cancer in their own community.

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