Tests show that ethylene oxide penetrates and can sterilise long narrow tubes in a hospital ethylene oxide steriliser. Residual ethylene oxide levels in plastic tubing after sterilisation have been estimated. Although initially the levels were very high, storage for four days at room temperature reduced them to a safe level. If adequate controls of the sterilising process and storage are carried out, sterilisation by ethylene oxide is considered to be safe for new plastics and clean equipment.
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