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A sampling of time-temperature relationships for steam sterilization

Table II. A sampling of time-temperature relationships for steam sterilization.
Sterilizing Plastic
Steam Sterilizing Response
Radiation Sterilizing Response
Ethylene Oxide Sterilizing Response
Dry Heat Sterilizing Response
Acetal Good No Good Good
Acrylic Poor Good Good
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene Variesa Good Varies
High-density polyethylene Good Good Good
Nylon Variesa Good Good No
Polycarbonate Varies Good Good Good
Polyester Poor Good Good
Polyethylene Poora Good Good
Polyglycolic acid No No Good
Polymethyl pentene Good Poor Good OK, no load
Polypropylene Good Varies Good OK, no load
Polypropylene and polyethylene copolymer Good Good Good OK, no load
Polystyrene Poor Good Good
Polysulfone Good Good Good Yes
Polyurethane Poor Good Good
Polyvinyl chloride Variesa Varies Good
Polyvinylidene fluoride Good Good Good
Silicone Good Good Good Low temp.
Teflon Varies No Good OK
a There are many materials that can be damaged by high-temperature heat, including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, acrylic, styrene, low-density polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, etc.; however, acetal, polypropylene, and Teflon could be possible candidates for heat because these materials can be damaged by radiation. Polyurethane may be hydrolytically attacked by steam but not by low-temperature dry heat, EtO, or radiation. Material compatibility and considerations need to be evaluated before accepting any sterilization method listed above. See Table III for other possible candidates.