History of Ethylene Oxide

STERIS Isomedix has been providing contract ethylene oxide (EO) sterilization services since 1989. However, the history of Ethylene Oxide (EO) dates back to the mid 1800s, when ethylene oxide was first discovered.

Ethylene Oxide (EO) Sterilization: Timeline of Events


Ethylene oxide (EO) is discovered


Ethylene oxide is used for fumigation


Ethylene oxide is is developed as a sterilant by the U.S. military

Late 1950s

The McDonald process is patented for medical devices


EOExpress® technology is introduced

Today, ethylene oxide is used to sterilize of a variety of medical products. Ethylene oxide is ideal for cellulose and plastic products that may exhibit discoloration wtih irradiation and devices manufactured from materials whose physical properties degrade with heat or irradiation.