DUBAI, UAE, 26 April 2020: Solsteo has a role to play in making users of ethylene oxide (EO) sterilisers aware of all the characteristics of the gas, said Pierre Bouché, General Manager of the French-owned company. “EO is a very powerful sterilant gas that has the advantage to sterilise heat-sensitive and moisture-sensitive products without damaging material used in the medical device (MD),” he said. “It is important to [remember] that EO is a highly reactive and odourless gas. Acute exposures may result in respiratory irritation, whereas chronic exposure has been associated with the occurrence of cancer.” Bouché emphasised that the number one priority of users of EO sterilisers should be to keep tight control on all air flow containing EO within their premises and to use a gas-abatement system to enhance indoor air quality within industrial processes.
Bouché said that although EO is widely used in the industry to sterilise polymer-based, single-use products, with an estimated 50% of all sterile medical devices in the world going through the EO process, risks of EO exposure can be under-estimated. “All EO sterilisation users must be equipped with proper gas detection and ventilation systems, which must be operated to protect health of operators,” he said. “And all EO sterilisers should be associated with a gas-abatement system, such as acid scrubbers or catalytic burners.” Emphasising the technical experience and portfolio of the company, Bouché said Solsteo delivered the largest EO steriliser in the Gulf region – measuring 86 cubic metres and fitting 32 pallets – to a high-profile manufacturer of medical devices in Dubai. He added that the company has also introduced a new EO steriliser to the market, called UNISTE 411, which has been designed to capture 100% air flow from an EO sterilisation cycle and direct it to a gas-abatement system for a safe exhaust to the atmosphere.