Georgians living in 'cancer cluster' demand investigation of medical sterilization plant

Residents of Covington, Ga., want a federal investigation of cancer levels around a medical sterilization plant that uses ethylene oxide, according to NBC affiliate 11Alive. 

If the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry — connected to the Centers for Disease Control — agree, the investigation would focus on so-called cancer clusters in neighborhoods near the Beckton, Dickinson plant.

"There's people all around here with cancer," Jane Bledsoe, a community resident, told 11Alive. September tests revealed higher levels than normal of ethylene oxide in the community.

"If you interview all the cancer patients and all the family members of people who have cancer in the Covington area, you would also be as concerned as we are," Cindy Jordan of Georgia's Say No to EtO told 11Alive.

The plant operates safely and legally, plant representatives said repeatedly, according to 11Alive. The plant recently reopened after agreeing to a consent order with state regulators.

When 11Alive contacted the plant Nov. 11, a spokesperson declined to comment. 11Alive was unable to reach the disease registry for comment.

If the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry — connected to the Centers for Disease Control — agree, the investigation would focus on so-called cancer clusters in neighborhoods near the Beckton, Dickinson plant."There's people all around here with cancer," Jane Bledsoe, a community resident, told 11Alive. September tests revealed higher levels than normal of ethylene oxide in the community."If you interview all the cancer patients and all the family members of people who have cancer in the Covington area, you would also be as concerned as we are," Cindy Jordan of Georgia's Say No to EtO told 11Alive.

The plant operates safely and legally, plant representatives said repeatedly, according to 11Alive. The plant recently reopened after agreeing to a consent order with state regulators.When 11Alive contacted the plant Nov. 11, a spokesperson declined to comment. 11Alive was unable to reach the disease registry for comment.

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