About Sterilization

bl01 What’s the difference between Disinfection and Sterilization


Disinfection is a process that eliminates many or all microorganisms on inanimate objects with the exception of bacterial spores.


Sterilization is any process that effectively kills or eliminates transmissible agents (such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, spore forms, etc.) from a surface, equipment, article of food or medication, or biological culture medium. Sterilization can be achieved through the application of heat, chemicals, irradiation, high pressure or filtration. In particular, sterilization method by plasma sterilizer is widely known as state-of the-art sterilization technology.

bl01 History of Sterilization

Steam Formaldehyde
EO Gas Gas Plasma
History 1850~ 1940~ 1950~ 1990~
Method Water vapor Formaldehyde vapor EtO Gas Plasma
Sterilization : 1h 30min. Sterilization : 30 min
Aeration : 5~6 hrs.
Sterilization : 2~6 hrs
Aeration : 8~12hrs.
Sterilization : 30~50 min.
No Aeration.
Sterilant Water vapor Formaldehyde Ethylene oxide Gas Hydrogen Peroxide
Safety Non – toxic Colorless & Toxic Gas
Mutagenic, Carcinogenic to humans
Colorless / Flammable and explosive gas
Potential mutagenic, carcinogenic
Raise Environmental disruption
Non-toxic gas
No environmental disruption
Installation Steam supplier
Water pipe line
Steam supplier
Water supplier
Gas / Water supplier
Aerator, etc.
No special facilities
Just plug in
High temp : 120~135℃
High pressure
Low temp : 70~75℃
No Pressure
Low temp : 50~60℃
Humidity : 40~80%
No Pressure
Low temp : 40~55℃
No high pressure
Advantages Low cost
Penetrates fabric
Relatively inexpensive Strong penetration Applicable to Heat and
Humid-sensitive instruments

bl01 Which medical devices require Sterilization?

Dr. Spaulding’s Criteria
Earle H. Spaulding believed that how an object is to be disinfected depended on the object’s intended use.
Object Sterilization High-level disinfection Low-level disinfection
Level of germicidal action Kill all microorganisms, including
bacterial spores.
Kills all microorganisms except high
numbers of bacterial spores
Kill vegetative bacteria,
fungi and lipid viruses.
Device Surgical instruments and devices;
cardiac catheters; implants; etc.
Respiratory therapy and anesthesia
equipment, GI endoscopes,
endocavitary probes,
Tonometers, Diaphragm fitting rings,
Bedpans; crutches; bed rails;
EKG leads; bedside tables; walls, floors and furniture.
Method Steam, gas, hydrogen peroxide
plasma or chemical sterilization.
High-level disinfection
(OPA, Glutaraldehyde)
Low-level disinfection
(or detergent for housekeeping surfaces)

bl01 Efficacy of Disinfection/Sterilization

tech03 1. Cleaning of the object
2. Organic and inorganic load present
3. Type and level of microbial contamination
4. Concentration of and exposure time to disinfectant / sterilant
5. Nature of the object
6. Temperature and relative humidity


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