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Cold Sterilization OSHA Standards

Q: We've used an autoclave for a long time and it now needs replacing. We are looking into other effective methods for sterilization. Could you provide some information?

A: High-level disinfectants, such as glutaraldehyde, kill most microbes except bacterial spores. If the soaking time is long enough, many can achieve complete sterilization.

However, since high-level disinfectants require substantial ventilation and are toxic to the skin and mucous membranes of employees who have to work with them, sterilization by autoclaving is always preferable to high-level disinfection for instruments that can withstand the heat and pressure of an autoclave. For semi-critical instruments that cannot be autoclaved (endoscopes, sigmiodoscopes, etc.) high-level disinfectants are appropriate.

For more information refer to Tab 8 (Tab 5 for dental) of Quality America's OSHA Safety Program Manual. Also, check out our White Papers for A Primer on Disinfection and Chemical Sterilization.

Posted by Quality America on March 26, 2007 | Comments (0)


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