New ethylene oxide rules could trigger sterilization consolidation — and new options

Firefighters training on a simulated ethylene oxide leak [Photo via Adobe Stock]

The largest commercial sterilizers will likely absorb the costs of new ethylene oxide (EtO) regulations — and could consolidate smaller competitors, according to a new analysis from Moody’s Investors Services.

Tighter controls on EtO emissions would increase capital spending and operating costs for all commercial sterilizers who use the toxic gas, which is the most commonly used method for eliminating infection-causing microbes from medical devices.

“Large companies have enough liquidity to fund the significant increase in spending without incremental debt,” Moody’s said in a subscribers-only report this week. “But the higher costs and compliance requirements could make the business less attractive for some small companies.”

The largest commercial sterilizers can absorb the cost of new…
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