Ethylene Oxide (ETO or EO) Sterilisation is the most popular form of sterilisation globally for single use medical devices. The process was discovered over 60 years ago and is well established. Sterilising with ethylene oxide benefits from being highly effective and non-damaging to most materials.

Ethylene Oxide Sterilization (ETO) is undertaken primarily in very large vacuum chambers at dedicated facilities. This is because the ethylene oxide gas is highly toxic and explosive. Prior to sterilizing a load with ethylene oxide the load is heated and humidified to improve the effectiveness of the process. Before injecting the gas into the chamber the oxygen levels are reduced to prevent explosions. The load is then exposed to the gas for several hours to achieve a high level of sterility assurance. Finally the gas is removed with a combination of vacuums and heating.

Applications of Ethylene Oxide (ETO) Sterilization

ETO Sterilisation is used to sterilise a wide range of medical devices including catheters, electronics, surgical instruments and medical kits. The process is not used on liquids and will not penetrate sealed foil pouches or glass bottles.

ETO Sterilization can also be used to remove trace DNA from consumables used in forensics and laboratory testing.

Ethylene Oxide Sterilisation at Andersen Caledonia.

Andersen Caledonia are the largest independent supplier of Ethylene Oxide Sterilisation (ETO) in the UK and Ireland with a capacity of over 10,000 pallets a year. Our accredited facility conforms to ISO11135 and has two 30m2 vacuum chambers controlled by a sophisticated software system – SCADA – that gathers data in real time and produces detailed cycle reports including load tracking.

Our skilled team run a highly efficient warehouse allowing us to support over 200 customers on a regular basis ranging from established global device companies, to start up companies and the majority of NHS hospitals.

A dedicated validation team provides the full range of support required for regulatory approval both in Europe, United States and globally. The range of validations we offer is wide to meet customer requirements on time and cost.

Over half of the cycles we run are mixed load cycles with multiple customer products. This allows us the flexibility to process small loads quickly and to accept variable load volumes.