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Choosing a Sterilization Method is not arbitrary.

The following references indicate that: dry heat sterilization is an effective sterilization process but it is NOT the appropriate form of sterilization to choose for tattoo or piercing tools, equipment or jewelry. 

Sterilization technology teaches that the choice of method is not arbitrary but chosen according to the standard of the most appropriate as recommended by the manufacturer of the items to be sterilized. Different sterilization methods are specifically chosen for the job and are not arbitrarily interchangeable.


1) American Society for Healthcare Central Service Professionals of the
American Hospital Association, Manual, ASHCSP, Leaders in the Central
Service, Sterile Processing Profession

"Types of sterilization processes used in health care facilities are steam sterilization, EtO sterilization, dry heat sterilization, gas plasma sterilization, and chemical sterilization." p. 161

"Dry-heat or "hot-air" sterilizers are used only for specialized purposes in modern health care facilities." p 185

"In moist heat (steam) sterilization and EtO sterilization bacteria die from the coagulation or denaturation of the protein constituents. Dry-heat sterilization actually "burns up" microbial cells." p 186

"The only items for which dry heat sterilization is appropriate are those that cannot be sterilized by steam or EtO because they cannot be penetrated, or will be damaged by moisture or because the item must be pyrogen free." p 186

2) Sterilization Technology, Ed. RF Morrissey, GB Phillips
"Dry heat is a far less efficient sterilization process than moist heat, but is nevertheless a useful procedure for sterilizing certain products such as powders and oils." p. 10

3) Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, Ed. CG Mayhall, 2nd Edition

"Sterilization is the complete elimination or destruction of all forms of microbial life and is accomplished in the hospital by either physical or chemical processes. Steam under pressure, dry heat, ethelyene oxide (ETO), gas, and liquid chemical are the principal sterilizing agents used in the hospital." p 1161

4) Disinfection, Sterilization and Preservation, 4th Edition, SS Block

"Dry heat will penetrate all kinds of materials, such as oils, petrolatum, and closed containers, that are not permeable to steam." p 495

"Sterilization by steam under pressure is nearly universally applied except where penetration or heat and moisture damage is a problem. Steam sterilization works better than some forms of sterilization because steam destroys most resistant bacterial spores in a brief exposure and heats rapidly because of mass heat transfer as it condenses." p 503

Compiled by Wes Wood