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The plants in Covington and Madison, Ga., both southeast of Atlanta, use ethylene oxide (EO) to sterilize medical devices. The federal Environmental Protection Agency recognizes EO as a carcinogen and lowered its limits on emissions of the sterilant gas in 2016. BD acquired the plants when it bought C.R. Bard in 2017.
BD said in a statement that it volunteered to design and install new emission-reduction technologies and processes to further reduce EO emissions at the plants. The company said it gave Georgia Governor Brian Kemp a plan to have an independent company validate its current emissions destruction of 99.95%, which exceeds the 99% regulatory