Cleaning Externally Contaminated Medical Gas Cylinders

As healthcare providers work to assist patients affected by infectious pathogens, medical gas cylinders can become externally contaminated due to their use in healthcare facilities.

is important that these cylinders are cleaned in a manner that removes contaminants, does not cause damage to the cylinder, valve, or gas product, and does not lead to a hazardous situation during the use of the container’s contents.

Customers have a specific duty to return medical gas containers that are free from contamination to your gas supplier. The recent advent of the COVID-19 infectious disease reinforces the importance of this requirement.

When contamination by infectious pathogens is suspected, customers are expected to take appropriate measures to reduce the risks to your staff and to gas supplier employees and contractors.

ANZIGA (Australia New Zealand Industrial Gas Association) has developed a position statement that details this expectation and advises the recommended cleaning method. This position statement can be downloaded here: Handling externally Soiled Medical Cylinders

The position statement references the following relevant Australia/New Zealand Standard:

AS/NZS 3816 Management of clinical and related wastes, “any establishment either generating or handling clinical and related waste shall be responsible for ensuring the safe disposal of such wastes.”

Should you have any specific questions in relation to this advice, please contact your gas supplier directly.