Essential Precautions You Can’t Afford To Forget With Ethylene Oxide Sterilization

From gauze sponges to stents, every piece of equipment in a medical facility requires regular sterilization. Not only does it help in limiting the reach of microorganisms, but it also maintains hygiene.

If you’re wondering about the potent agent for cleaning used by the facilities, it’s none other than Ethylene Oxide. Whether you take help from an EO Sterilization Service or do it with an in-house team, the chemical forms a necessary part of your cleaning essentials.

Since it’ll be a part of your regular hygiene maintenance squad, you must know what precautions to exercise before handling the substance.

Familiarize yourself with the substance

Handling any chemical substance requires mandatory guidelines and a strict procedure to follow. Without enabling yourself with the proper method of usage, you might be inviting a hazard to the workplace.

On top of this, if you have a cleaning staff, you must give them correct guidance and training before starting the hygiene routine.

Follow the aeration parameters

Inhalation of ethylene oxide can be discomforting. That’s why the cleaning procedure requires you to ensure proper ventilation in the room.

Short-term exposure to the chemical can cause irritation, shortness of breath, coughing, etc. That’s why you must clean your medical equipment while following the aeration guidelines.

Keep it away from the skin

Ethylene oxide is corrosive in nature. So, any contact with your soft skin can cause irritation along with frostbite. The most effective way to avoid such incidents is to wear specially designed protective Nitrile Gloves before beginning the cleaning process.

Protect your eyes

The golden rule of dealing with any chemical substance is safeguarding your precious eyes.

Ensure that you wear strong shielding glasses to ensure no gas can seep in and damage your eyes.

Store it in closed containers

EO is a flammable substance. That’s why you must be extra cautious while storing and opening the cans before usage.

Ensure that you store them in a leak-proof container in a cool and ventilated space. Moreover, you need to keep the chemical away from sparks, heat, strong oxidizers, alkalines, and acids.

Handle the Sterilization equipment as per the manual

While operating the sterilization system, ensure that you work according to the guide manufacturer has provided. Even in the event of random power outages, don’t be too curious and open the sterilizer’s door.

Note: It’s crucial that you allow the sterilizer to complete the entire cleaning cycle. So, even with power failure, you need to wait for the equipment to resume work before opening it.

What to do if you come in contact with Ethylene Oxide during sterilization?

You can’t ignore any accident that occurs while handling EO during the sterilization process.

  • If liquid EO comes in contact with your eyes, immediately flush it out with large volumes of water.
  • If the chemical gets in touch with your skin, remove the contaminated clothing and shoes instantly and wash the area.
  • In cases of nausea and vomiting, you need to consult a physician without wasting any time.


With the increase in life saving devices, there’s a rise in the use of Ethylene oxide for cleaning purposes. Not only is it effective in removing microorganisms, but it also sanitizes the devices that can’t stand steam. Whether it’s your favorite EO Sterilization Service or your efficient staff, protection is a non-negotiable mandate.

But, irrespective of the hand cleaning the devices, it’s essential that you think of precautions first before using Ethylene Oxide.