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Ethylene Oxide

By GreaterNYCDude follow GreaterNYCDude   2021 Sep 9, 5:34pm 457 views   20 comments         share      


Ethylene Oxide (EO) is a great sterilizer because it kills everything and it's small enough of a molecule to penetrate most packaging (cardboard, shrink wrap plastic, etc.). Problem is... it kills everything and is not only a carcinogen but also highly flammable. Handle with care.


Despite the dangers if misused, it's a precursor to a wide range of common chemicals, including surfactants, detergents and other industrial products.

It's also been used for sterilizing medical equipment for years. With respect to sterilization it's a better alternative than heat, which would damage certain plastics and / or electronics, or UV (or microwave) which has its own issues and challchallenges.

For any medical product from bandages to stents to pacemakers to nasal swabs and a whole assortment of medical products and devices EO has been the sterilization of choice.

Stick a pallet in a chamber, hold in an EO environment for enough time to kill the bacteria that may be present, then evacuate the chamber and back purge with nitrogen. Flush the chamber out a few times by purging / evacuating to ensure there is little if any EO left in the product that finds its way to the consumer.

I bring this up because I've seen some misinformation about the use of EO in the cotton swabs used for nasal testing for Covid and similar respiratory diseases. These products to not expose you to EO.

For those of you wondering... what do they do with the EO they purge out of the srerilization chamber? It's sent through an Air Scrubber which converts the EO to less toxic (and more useable) Ethylene Glycol, one of the primary ingredients in Antifreeze. Due to regulatory changes over the past few years, EO regulations gave been tightened and most facilities either have installed or are in the process of installing additional abatement measures.How do I know all this? Experience.Now I'm no apologist for the chemical industry, nor am I a shell for big pharma, but I figure my expertise having been in and around EO for years it was worth setting the record straight. Let's deal in facts not fear.
1   Onvacation   2021 Sep 9, 5:51pm  

GreaterNYCDude says
I bring this up because I've seen some misinformation about the use of EO in the cotton swabs used for nasal testing for Covid and similar respiratory diseases. These products to not expose you to EO.

I have to test weekly for work and that shit is nasty. I do the drive thru do it yourself test.

that's all I'm saying.
2   RWSGFY   2021 Sep 9, 5:58pm  

Onvacation says
I have to test weekly for work and that shit is nasty. I do the drive thru do it yourself test.


How does your employer receive the results: is it a paper you bring to them or they get it electronically from the testing facility?
3   Onvacation   2021 Sep 9, 6:00pm  

FuckCCP89 says
How does your employer receive the results: is it a paper you bring to them or they get it electronically from the testing facility?

I know.

But I'm going to play by the rules and play chicken for a while longer.

I'm not easy to replace.
4   Onvacation   2021 Sep 9, 6:05pm  

And I'm not getting vaxxed. This cold kills the old and sick.


The vaccine kills everybody.

I don't even take an Ibuprofen unless I hurt really bad. I REFUSE to be part of the test group for an experimental biologic agent.

Let's wait a couple years and see how the vaxxed do compared to the unvaxxed.
5   mell   2021 Sep 9, 6:05pm  

I mostly agree on the EO, it's not dangerous on the swab and mostly evaporated already, still it's nasty and a hassle.

FuckCCP89 says
Onvacation says
I have to test weekly for work and that shit is nasty. I do the drive thru do it yourself test.


How does your employer receive the results: is it a paper you bring to them or they get it electronically from the testing facility?


You usually get a link from the testing facility via email which contains a pdf to download with your official test results, you can just email that. One more email per week. Also again I wonder how this makes sense for remote workers, if they test positive so what? If they're isolated and for to work it's better for the company that they do work. None of this makes any sense
6   RWSGFY   2021 Sep 9, 6:07pm  

mell says
You usually get a link from the testing facility via email which contains a pdf to download with your official test results, you can just email that.


It's stupid easy to change the date/time in your existing pdf, export it to a new pdf file and send that.
7   Onvacation   2021 Sep 9, 6:08pm  

mell says
You usually get a link from the testing facility via email which contains a pdf to download with your official test results, you can just email that. One more email per week.

that's what I do
8   mell   2021 Sep 9, 6:09pm  

FuckCCP89 says
mell says
You usually get a link from the testing facility via email which contains a pdf to download with your official test results, you can just email that.


It's stupid easy to change the date/time in your existing pdf, export it to a new pdf file and send that. I can write a detailed howto.


I know but just saying if somebody wanted to check and call the testing site they have those tests in their database, so that should be acceptable proof if you want to follow the rules.. (doubt that anyone will bother though)
9   Onvacation   2021 Sep 9, 6:11pm  

FuckCCP89 says

It's stupid easy to change the date/time in your existing pdf, export it to a new pdf file and send that. I can write a detailed howto.

I'm trying to get that shit!

I want to know when to start taking the horsepaste.

I'd rather get the Wuhan or OD on Ivermectin than take that nasty ass jab!
10   RWSGFY   2021 Sep 9, 6:11pm  

mell says
I know but just saying if somebody wanted to check and call the testing site they have those tests in their database


Would they respond though? This is medical info i.e. a minefield.
11   GreaterNYCDude   2021 Sep 9, 9:33pm  

mell says
I mostly agree on the EO, it's not dangerous on the swab and mostly evaporated already, still it's nasty and a hassle.

I don't disagree it's a hassle. But in another thread (forget which one now as there are too many anti Vax threads to keep count) somone was saying that swabing your nose frequently leads to elevated cancer risks due to repeated EO exposure. Figured it was worth a separate thread explaing how they use EO to sterilize a range of medical devices and explaining how by the time you open the package there is an almost zero chance of any residual EO being present. Even if there were a few stray molecules, the natural background levels are higher than that.

Interesting side fact. Some companies use EO to preserve food (bananas and other fruits) to prevent or minimize spoilage during transport.
12   mell   2021 Sep 9, 10:17pm  

GreaterNYCDude says
mell says
I mostly agree on the EO, it's not dangerous on the swab and mostly evaporated already, still it's nasty and a hassle.

I don't disagree it's a hassle. But in another thread (forget which one now as there are too many anti Vax threads to keep count) somone was saying that swabing your nose frequently leads to elevated cancer risks due to repeated EO exposure. Figured it was worth a separate thread explaing how they use EO to sterilize a range of medical devices and explaining how by the time you open the package there is an almost zero chance of any residual EO being present. Even if there were a few stray molecules, the natural background levels are higher than that.

Interesting side fact. Some companies use EO to preserve food (bananas and other fruits) to prevent or minimize spoilage during transport.


Agreed. The danger comes for those who live near or work at plants and maybe medical personnel (very small risk) who has to deal with it on a daily basis. There are alternatives though and probably should be explored as replacement where possible (cost should be roughly similar). Also there may be some longer term hospital patients who get that stuff and other medical devices shoved up deep into their body on a daily basis that may worry about health risks. For the weekly tests in the lower nasal area it's a non issue.
13   DhammaStep   2021 Sep 10, 10:18am  

I was pretty adverse to EO based on things I saw, but it really is useful to know they sterilize plenty of daily use first aid products with it. Thanks.

What bothers me is the neccessity of shoving the swab way up the nose, when apparently we are supposed to be afraid of people casually breathing within six feet of us.

https://www.the-scientist.com/sponsored-article/a-new-covid-19-spit-test-is-as-easy-as-1-2-3-69090

This spit test seems more reasonable. However, I simply disagree on the idea that healthy individuals should get tested at all. Innocent until proven symptomatic, because asymptomatic spread is hardly a driver increased infection. Just another bit of madness in it all.
14   mell   2021 Sep 10, 10:27am  

DhammaStep says
I was pretty adverse to EO based on things I saw, but it really is useful to know they sterilize plenty of daily use first aid products with it. Thanks.

What bothers me is the neccessity of shoving the swab way up the nose, when apparently we are supposed to be afraid of people casually breathing within six feet of us.

https://www.the-scientist.com/sponsored-article/a-new-covid-19-spit-test-is-as-easy-as-1-2-3-69090

This spit test seems more reasonable. However, I simply disagree on the idea that healthy individuals should get tested at all. Innocent until proven symptomatic, because asymptomatic spread is hardly a driver increased infection. Just another bit of madness in it all.


Fully agreed. Also nowadays they shouldn't shove it up your nose anymore, just a gentle swab the beginning by the nostrils should be enough.
15   Patrick   2021 Sep 10, 1:27pm  

And if you can personally do it, how do they know what you swiped?
16   mell   2021 Sep 10, 1:32pm  

Patrick says
And if you can personally do it, how do they know what you swiped?


Not sure if they allow it but they could test if at least contains snot ;) Also my wife had to do one in the hospital where they were watching here self-swab. There no standards and this whole thing is ludicrous.
17   Patrick   2021 Nov 5, 1:18pm  

https://cyprus-mail.com/2021/10/26/union-calls-for-suspension-of-rapid-testing-after-toxic-substance-found/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=c5ac8eb3-433a-4c65-8174-6e51f8e812da


A union representing the rights of public-sector workers has called for the suspension of rapid tests for the coronavirus, after media reports showed a swab contained multiple times the permissible trace level of ethylene oxide, a toxic substance.

The Isotita (Equality) union said rapid tests – which under current protocols thousands of people need to take every 72 hours for work – should be immediately discontinued until health authorities have investigated the matter and determined any health risks.

Citing the European Chemicals Agency, the union said ethylene oxide – a substance used to coat and sterilise PCR and rapid test nasal swabs – is toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic even when inhaled.
18   Patrick   2021 Nov 16, 5:45pm  

https://thinkcivics.com/leading-covid-test-firm-is-planning-to-sell-swabs-with-customers-dna/

Leading COVID Test Firm Is Planning To Sell Swabs With Customer’s DNA
ThinkCivics Newswire by THINKCIVICS NEWSWIRE November 15, 2021
19   GreaterNYCDude   2021 Nov 16, 7:24pm  

@patrick thanks for the link. Interesting.

I also came across a report that discusses EO exposure from medical equipment l.. seems it varies widely but will dissipate with time.

https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/38815/9241541954-eng.pdf

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