Protesters demand closure of Sterigenics Smyrna plant

Stop Sterigenics Georgia President Janet Rau explains why the group is hoping to get the Atlanta plant shutdown. Stop Sterigenics Georgia is an organization that is concerned about the Ethylene Oxide pollution that the Sterigenics plant is producing in the area. (Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com)

“Dirty air, they don’t care!” about a dozen protesters chanted Friday morning at the intersection of Plant Atkinson and Atlanta Road in Smyrna.

They were demonstrating against a nearby medical sterilization plant owned by Sterigenics after reports raised concerns over carcinogenic emissions at the facility. 

“We’re here today to let our neighbors know what they can do to get involved and to also demand from our government leaders that they close this plant down,” said Bridget Kurt, who lives about a mile from the facility. She was wearing an orange “Stop Sterigenics” shirt and carrying a sign with the same message.

State leaders are scheduled to discuss the plant today after outrage triggered by a joint report by Georgia Health News and WebMD revealed regulators had failed to inform residents of elevated cancer risks.