Decontamination of Library Books
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. Once processed, the books are aerated and ready to be shipped back and placed on shelves.