MSS provides medical products sterilization by ethylene oxide gas (commonly called ETO or EO). This process inactivates living microorganisms which might contaminate a device. Exposure to ethylene oxide gas causes alkylation to the microorganisms at the nuclear level. This means that the ETO replaces a hydrogen group atom of the organism with an alkyl group. It causes damage to the cellular DNA and therefore causes the microorganism to die.
Ethylene oxide (EO) sterilization is also used as the sterilization process for many other industries such as food and agriculture, spices, and cosmetics. EO for use as a sterilant makes up less than 1% of its use in the United States. 99% of its use is as a chemical intermediate and the remaining percent is as a fumigant or insecticide.
ISO 11135 is one of the most popular methods of sterilization of medical devices is through exposure to Ethylene Oxide gas (EtO/EO). The gas is an alkaline agent that infiltrates packaged medical devices to kill microorganisms and thus achieve sterilization. EtO is toxic and flammable/explosive at low temperatures (flash point of -20°C) and so is used on products that could get damaged or cannot withstand high temperature processes.