Ethylene Oxide Gases (EOG)

The applications of the sterilization
Ethylene Oxide Gases Uses

This gas is used to sterilize the following:

1. Articles that may be damaged by heat or moisture. Examples are plastic materials, cystoscopes, urethral catheters, anesthesia equipment, and electrical equipment.

2. Articles which may last longer when sterilized by gas. Examples are rubber gloves, catheters and tubings, and delicate surgical instruments.

3. Articles that are difficult to sterilize by other methods. Examples are mattresses, pillows, incubators and bassinets.



Gas sterilization offers the following advantages.

1. It is effective against all types of microorganisma.

2. It is easily obtainable.

3. It is no corrosive and does not damage items.

4. It has the ability to easily penetrate through a mass of some dry materials.

5. High pressure are not necessary.



The following disadvantages in use of ethylene oxide have been observed:

1. It requires long time exposure.

2. Compared with steam, it is expensive.

3. It is toxic, making it essential that supplies sterilized by this method be withheld from use until considered safe (Some objects absorb gas during sterilization and time must be allowed for dissipation of these gases).

Nonporous items require only 4 hours. Items such as rubber gloves, stoppers and tubing require an estimated 24 to 48 hours for complete aeration. In addition, other items require a much longer aeration period. Packing materials should be selected carefully: for example, there are some plastics which are not suitable for use as packing materials.

(from "a manual for Hospital Central Medical and Surgical Supply Services." U.S.P.H.S., 1966)





Operating Utensil,
Mechanical heart dialect,
Fiber-optic, endoscopes,

surgical telescopes

Ophthalmic instruments,

Plastic instruments (e.g., specula, syringes)

Anesthesia masks and circuits,

Rubber and plastic tubing (e.g., catheters),

Electrical equipment (e.g., drills, pumps, motors),

Respirators and inhalation therapy supplies,

Surgical staplers/staples, sutures, sharps,