Information about ethylene oxide sterilization

Ethylene oxide (EO) sterilization processes are low temperature sterilization processes and are rather used in the industrial sector than the public health sector.

Ethylene oxide sterilization processes are very effective and have the advantage that ethylene oxide is able to penetrate plastic tubes and therefore, long plastic tubes can be securely sterilized. It is highly disadvantageous that ethylene oxide is very toxic and the dissolved ethylene oxide inside the plastic instruments and tubes has to be completely removed before the instruments can be reused. Due to its toxicity it has to be used in specially ventilated rooms, furthermore the ethylene oxide has to be converted into non-toxic components chemically or catalytically before being disposed.