Decontamination of Library Books and Documents
Books and documents housed in libraries are susceptible to mold and mildew when stored for long periods of time. Spores from these microorganisms are ever-present and can remain dormant for long periods of time until conditions are right for growth. Mold can grow quickly and damage precious books and documents. Further, mold can be a general health hazard to those that are allergic or medically susceptible if exposed through contact with contaminated books and their immediate environment.
Ethylene Oxide (EO) Sterilization
Remediation of contaminated books can be accomplished by cleaning, disinfecting and, often times, exposing books to ethylene oxide (EO) processing. Widely used for the sterilization of medical devices, ethylene oxide is a gas fumigant that kills mold in both its vegetative and spore states through alkylation reactions.
In a typical cycle, books are carefully packed into crates, stacked on standard pallets and placed within the EO processing chamber. The atmosphere in the chamber is evacuated and ethylene oxide gas in injected. The EO gas penetrates quickly into the dense books and kills all microorganisms. After a period of time, the EO gas is evacuated and heated nitrogen is used to help eliminate any residuals. Onces processed, the books are aerated and ready to be shipped back and placed on shelves.
Advantages of the STERIS Isomedix Services network include:
- EO TechTeam® provides technical expertise for cycle development
- Dedicated ethylene oxide technology center
- SteriLink® online supply chain visibility service
- Logistics support
Contact a STERIS Isomedix Services representative to learn more about decontamination services for books and documents.