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EO sterilization and pallets

#1
Hello,

For EO sterilization, the emphasis is placed on ensuring that the loading configurations remain constant, both in terms of the pallets in the chamber, and the products on each pallet. However, how important is it to control the pallet itself? For example, if someone uses wooden pallets, would that introduce variability in each load (ex: different wood types / construction = porosity differences)?

Thanks!
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#2
Hello,

For EO sterilization, the emphasis is placed on ensuring that the loading configurations remain constant, both in terms of the pallets in the chamber, and the products on each pallet. However, how important is it to control the pallet itself? For example, if someone uses wooden pallets, would that introduce variability in each load (ex: different wood types / construction = porosity differences)?

Thanks!
Good day WalkingCube,

I am sorry about the delay in this response. I have been watching for awhile, hoping a better response than mine would be offered.

I have not been able to find clear references to use of wood pallets in EO sterilization in terms of the sterilization itself. Articles such as Critical Considerations don't discuss the type of pallet, but the CDC describes a need for adding aeration time based on porous material absorption of the gases in order to help prevent exposure following the EO process. I, for one would have thought synthetic pallets would be preferable. They would be if we were discussing particulates control.

I wish I could offer you better advice.

I have no affiliations with Medical Design Briefs.
 
#4
Hello everyone!

Thanks a lot for your replies! I looked around at my end too, and it seems like there is one camp that says that it doesn't matter that much, and another camp that completely removed the uncertainty by using custom synthetic palletized containers. I guess I'll stay consistent with one pallet type and see how things go.
 
#5
A notion on consistency of pallet material:

Wood and nearly every synthetic material absorbs EO, with the sterilant potentially accumulating over time in the pallets. Therefore, some (pharma) companies use virgin wooden pallets that have not yet undergone EO processing.

Alternatively, you could use pallets made of aluminum. They are more expensive, but do not absorb EO at all. As an additional advantage, no potential issues related to occupational safety may arise with metal pallets.
 
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