EO Sterilization vs. Gamma Sterilization: Which Is Better?

Did you know that the global sterilization market will grow to $5594 billion by 2030? Sterilization is vital to maintaining clean and safe environments when handling medical equipment.

Medical facilities are adopting sterilization procedures to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases. This protects patients and healthcare personnel working in medical facilities.

Before settling on a sterilization method, it’s important to ensure it’s safe for your product. Additionally, verify that the sterilization procedure is standard and follows all safety requirements.

Below we discuss the differences between EO and Gamma sterilization. We further analyze which one is the best sterilization method for the two.

What Is Gamma Sterilization?

This type of sterilization method involves exposing a product to gamma rays. The radiations come from a radioactive element known as cobalt 60.

The radiations are strong enough to penetrate through the product packaging. These radiations break the microorganism’s DNA, thus killing it.

The amount of radiation depends on the type of product. Due to the high penetrating power, gamma rays can sterilize highly dense materials. After the sterilization is complete, the sterile products are then released for shipping.

Gamma sterilization is ideal for products that need a long period of storage. It’s also less expensive and cleaner as compared to EO sterilization.

It’s important to know that chronic exposure to gamma rays may lead to health problems such as cancer. The sterilized products may also change color after this procedure.

Gamma Sterilization

What Is EO Sterilization?

EO sterilization involves the use of a low-temperature gas to sterilize medical devices. Ethylene oxide gas disrupts the cellular metabolism and reproduction of microorganisms.

The sterilization process involves exposing products to ethylene oxide. The gas flows at a specified temperature, concentration, and humidity.

This method is suitable for products sensitive to radiation and heat—for example, gloves, bandages, and ointments.

You’re, however, required to be cautious when handling ethylene oxide. The gas is highly flammable and explosive when exposed to air. Once complete, the sterilization room undergoes degassing to remove all the ethylene oxide.

Which Is the Best Sterilization Method?

The choice of sterilization method depends on your product’s tolerance to heat, moisture, and chemicals. You should also consider factors such as production cost, shelf-life, speed to market, etc.

However, manufacturers choose the fittest method depending on the product they are sterilizing. Did you know that EO sterilizes more than 20 billion medical devices annually? EO is the best sterilization method since it’s used for almost all laboratory equipment.

The EO sterilization process follows international standards. These standards ensure validation and routine control of the sterilized product. This makes it a better sterilization procedure.

Methods of Sterilization

Before purchasing pharmaceutical products, it’s important to ensure they are well sterilized. This is to prevent contamination and transmission of disease-causing pathogens.

The guide above provides a detailed overview of ethylene oxide and gamma sterilization procedures. It will help you choose the best sterilization method suited for your products.

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