You are here

October 23, 2019

AdvaMed Statement On BD Sterilization Plant In Georgia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Scott Whitaker, president and CEO of AdvaMed, today released the following statement on Georgia’s filing of a temporary restraining order against BD’s medical device sterilization plant in Covington, Ga.:

“Governor Kemp’s attempt to shut down another medical device sterilization plant in the state is very alarming, and sets Georgians and many Americans down a potentially dangerous path with serious public health consequences. If the BD Covington plant shuts down, there will be three facilities in two states unable to sterilize critical medical devices. 

“More than one billion medical devices are at risk.

“With these three facilities closed, procedures for urological conditions, cardiothoracic and lung cancer surgeries, retinal detachments, and tumor ablations are now in jeopardy because, for these devices, there is no other way to sterilize them properly for the patients who need them. Even those entering intensive care units (ICUs) in the coming days could see delays in their care or lack of availability because every patient requires a catheter that must be sterilized with EtO. 

“Ethylene oxide for medical device sterilization is absolutely critical to the health of millions of patients around the country, which is why companies that use EtO take their responsibility to protect workers and surrounding communities extremely seriously. They use the best available technology to destroy, capture, or otherwise limit EtO exposure to well within scientifically validated safe levels.

“Experts in toxicology confirm that this is the case, and that living near a medical device sterilization plant that properly destroys ethylene oxide, as BD has thoroughly demonstrated it does, poses no risk to public health. We worry that failure to listen to and engage with these scientific experts is the true risk to public health here.”