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Sterilising with Ethylene Oxide
A sterilsation chamber using ethylene oxide
As a business, we work with many pharmaceutical manufacturers. One such customer uses Ethylene Oxide (ETO) to sterilise the surgical equipment that they manufacture. They find that this is the most effective way of killing the bacteria, mould and funghi that would, if unchecked, prevent their bandages, sutures and other surgical implements from being suitable for use.
The problem with solid film
In order to ensure that a load is 100% sterile the gas must be able to penetrate the pallet completely. A solid film prevents this from happening. However, allowing the gas to penetrate is just one part of the problem.
A real need for aeration
Although ethelyne oxide is an effective steriliser, it has a number of unpleasant characteristics. Not only is it flammable, it is also highly toxic and is actually classified as a carcinogenic. Trapped pockets of ethelyne oxide, no matter how small, could be potentially lethal, therefore it is critical that the gas be allowed to escape once it has done its job. A solid film actually hampers this, acting as a barrier during the flushing process.
The solution: Air-