Ethylene oxide (EtO) is frequently used in sterilisation processes as one of the most effective methods for mitigating microorganism growth on medical devices used by doctors and patients every day. However, amid growing public concern and regulatory interest in community and workplace exposure, now is an excellent time to upgrade antiquated monitoring systems for stack and fugitive emissions. Through the development of advanced Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) technology and key partnerships with industry experts, Picarro is uniquely positioned to assist sterilisation facilities with a wide range of solutions to generate defensible data for indoor fugitive monitoring, continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS), and fence-line monitoring systems.
Minimising Employee Exposure by Upgrading Air Quality Monitoring Systems
Picarro technology provides a breakthrough solution for multi-point indoor air monitoring that will promote employee safety, early detection of leaks, and generation of defensible data to accurately quantify fugitive emissions. Aging sensors and antiquated monitoring technology often fail to accurately quantify indoor EtO concentrations due to interference with other hydrocarbons and water vapour. Now, with analysers tuned specifically for measuring EtO at sub-parts-per-billion levels with an industry-leading measurement frequency, Picarro-based systems address commercial steriliser requirements for indoor multi-point monitoring configurations with the lowest operational cost (Figure 1).
Ensure Compliance with Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS)
CEMS requirements have already been implemented by some states and are expected to be reflected as a requirement in the NESHAP rule update affecting commercial sterilisers in early 2022. Picarro’s EtO analysers offer the precision, speed, and sensitivity levels necessary to comply with future regulations. Picarro has partnered with CleanAir Engineering (Figure 2), providing a turn-key approach to allow real-time insights for continuous flow rates, concentration levels, and mass emission rates. Automated and customised reporting, simplified operational training, notifications for early detection, and maximised uptime allow CEMS customers to operate reliable monitoring solutions to mitigate the risk of non-compliance.
Managing the Narrative Through Continuous Fence-line and Near- Source Monitoring
Certain commercial sterilisers are subject to state requirements for fence-line ambient air monitoring, other facilities opt to conduct voluntary monitoring. There is a clear indication that growing concern about community exposure is contributing to the evolving regulatory landscape. Monitoring is becoming more important as many states and researchers are beginning to find that offsite sources from other industrial and natural processes are also contributing to EtO in communities.
Ambient air monitoring stations can be built around the CleanAir-Picarro system to provide early detection of emissions sources by integrating meteorological and spatial data which enables companies to mitigate their risk and distinguish between onsite and other contributory sources. CleanAir’s Picarro-based air quality monitoring system has undergone successful field validations.
Commercial sterilisers are at a critical point with pending regulations potentially affecting all aspects of their operation. Part of the anticipated regulation will be the requirement to continuously monitor for EtO emissions at process vents and stacks. In addition, many facilities are required to maintain ambient air monitoring efforts for EtO as well as perform indoor air monitoring to mitigate employee exposure risks. With clear advantages in measurement speed, sensitivity, and reliability over traditional technologies, Picarro’s EtO analysers provide an excellent solution to mitigate current and future regulatory risk with indoor, source, and fence-line emissions.
This article is an excerpt. To read the full article visit bit.ly/EtORisk