Ga. City Asks Medical Sterilization Plant to Stop Work

Covington officials say air quality tests show elevated levels of the carcinogen ethylene oxide after a leak at Becton Dickinson last month.

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COVINGTON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia city has asked a company that sterilizes medical devices to temporarily stop work over air quality tests that show elevated levels of a carcinogen that leaked from the facility last month.

News outlets report Covington officials want Becton Dickinson to cease operations until more emissions controls are implemented and tests show they're effective.

A city statement says preliminary air quality test results show elevated levels of ethylene oxide. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says exposure to the colorless gas can cause nausea, headaches, breathing difficulties, exhaustion and other negative effects.

Cobb County recently paused the operations of another company, Sterigenics, because of concerns over the same chemical.

Becton Dickinson released a statement that said the chemical can come from many sources.

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