Safer Sterilization: Reducing the Environmental Impact of Sterilizing Medical Devices
Sterilizing medical devices is vital to helping prevent serious infections. Ethylene oxide (EtO), a gas that penetrates the sterile barrier of a product to eliminate harmful microorganisms, is used to sterilize more than 20 billion devices in the United States.
But is it safe? The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced plans to propose an air pollution rule later this year to address emissions of ethylene oxide at commercial sterilizers.
To support that initiative, the FDA has been working with medical device manufacturers to reduce the amount of EtO they use to sterilize products while also reducing EtO emission levels. The FDA also has been working with companies on the development of new sterilization methods to replace the use of EtO.
Read more about some of those innovations.
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