Hospital Sterile Processing

Monitoring for chemicals released into the air during sterile processing is an essential part of your quality control (QC) program. Serving as an early warning to leaks, and safety measure for your employees, ChemDAQ® monitors enable you to effectively manage the breathing environment. Just like equipment requires revalidation after a failed cycle, monitoring allows you to validate that the vapor concentration in the air is safe. Monitoring systems for Hydrogen Peroxide, Peracetic Acid, and Ethylene Oxide raise the standard of safety for both patients and employees.

Monitoring sterilization areas for the safety of employees.

Medical Device Manufacturing

Medical device manufacturers and contract sterilization companies typically use large amounts of 100% Ethylene Oxide, which requires combustible gas (LEL) monitoring to protect against explosion and ppm monitoring to protect workers from exposure to toxic ppm levels. ChemDAQ LEL sensors use highly reliable infrared technology. For ppm concentrations, Steri-Trac EtO monitors employ electrochemical sensors and our patented Spot-On Chemical Filter technology to provide cost effective, accurate, continuous monitoring while greatly reducing false alarms by removing common interferents.

Monitoring sterilization areas for the safety of employees.

With advances in sterilization and re-processing technology, technicians are now processing equipments and instruments multiple times per day, with more concentrated sterilant than ever before.  This increase in concentration and use also increases the wear and tear on sterilizers and re-processors and increases the potential for exposure.  Therefore, understanding and monitoring vapor levels in the air should be part of any department's essential safety practice.  Ethylene Oxide, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Peracetic Acid all have Occupational Exposure Limits.  They are used because they effectively kill bacteria, but also pose a risk to those that work with these chemicals daily.  The best way to ensure the safety of staff is to ensure harmful vapors in the air stay below national exposure guidelines.

Adding continuous monitoring to your Quality Control (QC) program provides another layer of safety and validation.  Just like equipment must be revalidated after an aborted cycle, monitoring the air allows for process and quality control.

Don't know what chemicals are used in your sterilizers or high-level disinfectant equipment?

Here is a quick, high-level guide with some of the most common brands and chemicals used in them.

Low-Temperature Sterilizer Brands, Chemicals and Concentrations

Company Low-Temp Sterilizer Chemical Biocide Source Concentration (w/w)
Johnson & Johnson (ASP) Sterrad Hydrogen Peroxide 58-95%
Steris V-Pro Hydrogen Peroxide 59%
Steris Amsco Eagle 3017 Ethylene Oxide 100%
3M Steri-vac 5XL. 8XL Ethylene Oxide 100%
3M Steri-vac GS Series Ethylene Oxide 100%
TSO3/Getinge STERIZONE Hydrogen Peroxide 50%

Something very important to note – many people believe the myth that the hydrogen peroxide used in low-temperature sterilizers is the same as the hydrogen peroxide you can get at the grocery store. Unfortunately, this is not true. The concentration in the sterilizers can go as high as 95% – much higher and more dangerous than the hydrogen peroxide from the grocery store (~3%).

High-Level Disinfection Equipment Brands and Chemicals

Company High-Level Disinfection Chemical Biocide Source Concentration (w/w)
Steris System 1e Peracetic Acid 35.50%

Hydrogen Peroxide 6.50%
Medivator Medivator Peracetic Acid 5%

Hydrogen Peroxide 22%
Olympus OER-PRO Peracetic Acid 6.80%

Hydrogen Peroxide 9.00%

Monitoring Solutions for Healthcare.

ChemDaqs Resources

Guidelines, recommendations, and information on Peracetic Acid, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Ethylene Oxide.