What Does Sterile Eo Mean? Ethylene oxide (also known as EO or EtO) is a low temperature gaseous process widely used to sterilize a variety of healthcare products, such as single-use medical devices.

What does EO do to humans? Ethylene oxide (C₂H₄O) is a flammable gas with a somewhat sweet odor. Exposure to ethylene oxide may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty, drowsiness, weakness, exhaustion, eye and skin burns, frostbite, and reproductive effects. Workers may be harmed from exposure to ethylene oxide.

Why is ethylene oxide used for sterilization? Ethylene oxide (EO) is the most commonly used agent in chemical sterilization. Because it is a gas, it rapidly penetrates packaging and items to be sterilized at temperatures tolerated by almost all materials.

Is ethylene oxide safe for sterilization? Although initially the levels were very high, storage for four days at room temperature reduced them to a safe level. If adequate controls of the sterilising process and storage are carried out, sterilisation by ethylene oxide is considered to be safe for new plastics and clean equipment.

Why is EtO harmful?

Both human and animal studies show that EtO is a carcinogen that may cause leukemia and other cancers. EtO is also linked to spontaneous abortion, genetic damage, nerve damage, peripheral paralysis, muscle weakness, as well as impaired thinking and memory.

Is EtO flammable?

Ethylene Oxide “Gas” Sterilization. ETO is a colorless gas that is flammable and explosive.

What medical equipment is sterilized with EO?

Currently, ethylene oxide gas is used to sterilize 50% of all medical supplies that require that high level of disinfection — everything from plastic surgical gowns to syringes, catheters, bandages, gauze, and pacemakers.

What is the chemical EO used for?

The major use of ethylene oxide is as a chemical intermediate in the manufacture of ethylene glycol. Ethylene oxide is also used as a sterilizing agent for medical equipment and a fumigating agent for spices.

Do hospitals use ethylene oxide?

Ethylene oxide (EtO) gas sterilizers have been used by hospitals for over 40 years to sterilize surgical equipment and supplies that are heat sensitive or that cannot tolerate excessive moisture.

How long has EO sterilization been used?

Sometimes it’s good to be “old.” Medical devices have been sterilized with EO since the 1950s. It’s a known quantity: Remarkably gentle and effective. That hasn’t changed in the last 70 years.

Is ethylene oxide safe in medical devices?

These standards help ensure levels of ethylene oxide on medical devices are within safe limits since long-term and occupational exposure to ethylene oxide has been linked to cancer. Learn more about the risks of ethylene oxide on the National Institutes of Health web page on ethylene oxide.

What foods contain ethylene oxide?

Ethylene oxide was also recently found in the additive locust bean gum, which is mainly a thickening agent or stabilizer. It is used in foods including ice cream, breakfast cereals, meat products, confectionery, fermented milk products and cheese.

Why is ethylene oxide banned in Europe?

Use of the chemical ethylene oxide in the food industry is banned in Europe because it is ‘carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic’. It can be found as a contaminant in baked goods, cereals, seeds, ice-creams and yoghurt.

What does ethylene look like?

Ethylene appears as a colorless gas with a sweet odor and taste. It is lighter than air. It is easily ignited and a flame can easily flash back to the source of the leak.

Is ethylene harmful to humans?

* Ethylene gas can affect you when breathed in. * Skin contact with liquid Ethylene can cause frostbite. * Exposure to Ethylene can cause headache, dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness, confusion and unconsciousness. * Ethylene is a HIGHLY FLAMMABLE and REACTIVE chemical and a DANGEROUS FIRE and EXPLOSION HAZARD.

How long does ethylene oxide stay on surfaces?

EtO is a volatile compound, meaning that it does not persist for a very long time in the environment. Its estimated half-life in the atmosphere is 69 days (during summer months) to 149 days (during winter months).

Does ethylene oxide degrade plastic?

Because ethylene oxide (EtO) can sterilize at low temperatures, the main advantage of this gas for hospital sterilization is that it will not damage heat sensitive materials, such as plastics.

How do you clean up ethylene oxide?

GAS: Evacuate and restrict persons not wearing protective equipment from area of spill or leak until cleanup is complete. Remove all ignition sources. Establish forced ventilation to keep levels below explosive limit.

What is EtO treatment on Spice?

Ethylene Oxide (EtO) is an EPA-registered antimicrobial pesticide used to sterilize medical equipment and spices. It is the only sterilization method available for many medical devices and approximately 50 percent of all sterile medical devices in the United States are treated with EtO annually.

How does formaldehyde bring sterilization?

Low-temperature steam with formaldehyde is used as a low-temperature sterilization method in many countries, particularly in Scandinavia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The process involves the use of formalin, which is vaporized into a formaldehyde gas that is admitted into the sterilization chamber.

Where is formaldehyde used?

Formaldehyde is a strong-smelling, colorless gas used in making building materials and many household products. It is used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard; glues and adhesives; permanent-press fabrics; paper product coatings; and certain insulation materials.

Can you be allergic to ethylene oxide?

Allergy to ethylene oxide is a rare, but important, cause in these patients. We recommend that postoperative allergy investigation is carried out in specialist centers, and that testing for ethylene oxide is always included in this high-risk population.

Why is aeration important for EtO sterilized items?

As mentioned, materials such as plastics and rubbers absorb gas and if applied to patients, the toxic gas could damage their body tissue! For this reason it is very important to have an excessive aeration stage to remove any remaining EtO gas and to allow absorbed gas to evaporate again from the sterilized items.

Can a woman be sterilized?

Female sterilization is a permanent procedure to prevent pregnancy. It works by blocking the fallopian tubes. When women choose not to have children, sterilization can be a good option. It’s a slightly more complex and expensive procedure than male sterilization (vasectomy).

Do dentists use ethylene oxide?

Ethylene oxide gas has been utilized as an alternative method for sterilization of dental handpieces, as it is less corrosive than steam. However, its effectiveness for sterilization of the internal components of dental handpieces has not been established.