Both Are Dangerous!
Health care continues to move away from ethylene oxide (ETO) sterilization to sterilizers that use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Did you know that H2O2 and ETO have the same OSHA PEL (1ppm 8 hour TWA)? While there are benefits of using a hydrogen peroxide sterilizer, such as faster cycle times, there are also risks. The ETO cycle time is typically 12 to 15 hours; the newer H2O2 sterilizers take as few as 28 minutes for a cycle. The fast cycles may be convenient for work flow, but your employees are potentially exposed to hydrogen peroxide each time they open the door to the sterilizer. That’s a potential exposure rate 12 times greater then using the ETO sterilizer over an 8 hour shift.
IF YOU WERE MONITORING ETO…..THEN YOU NEED TO BE MONITORING H2O2!