ATLANTA (AP) – Several cancer patients are suing the operators of two Atlanta-area medical sterilization plants over their use of a gas that has come under increasing scrutiny around the country.
The lawsuits announced Tuesday claim the Sterigenics’ plant near Smyrna and the Becton, Dickinson and Co. site in Covington emitted toxic levels of ethylene oxide that caused the defendants’ cancers.
U.S. regulators classified ethylene oxide as a human carcinogen in 2016. Becton, Dickinson said in a statement it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
The Covington plant uses ethylene oxide to sterilize urinary catheters and other items hospitals need.
Sterigenics said its plant was not responsible for causing the defendants’ illnesses.