COVINGTON, Ga. – The Environmental Protection Agency published a report in August 2018 showing 109 census tracts with a high concentration of ethylene oxide, a chemical the agency listed as one that “definitely causes cancer”. Georgia residents of Covington and Smyrna are just now learning that their communities have been exposed to the airborne toxin.
After publishing the report, the EPA decided not to put out a press release. Those living in the areas impacted by the airborne toxin are only now hearing about the hazard from an investigation published by Andy Miller of Georgia Health News and Brenda Goodman of WebMD.
The news set off a heated debate as residents of Smyrna and Convington took to Facebook.
Maps made by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division show that the release of ethylene oxide in the two communities far exceed the state’s determined level (Acceptable Area Concentration) where chemicals start to cause harm to one’s health.
In Symrna, the level of ethylene oxide is estimated to be 27 to 61 times than the state AAC. Covington’s level of ethylene oxide is estimated to be 17 to 97 times higher.
The Georgia EPD said in an interview that there are no plans to do any kind of air testing or to require companies to reduce emissions of ethylene oxide.
SOURCE: Georgia Public Broadcasting