Quick Tips For Oxygen Cleaning!

Apr 28, 2015

What Is Oxygen Cleaning?
Clean equipment that comes into contact with oxygen requires specific procedures to ensure that nothing is left on the surface that could interact with oxygen.

There are two types of cleaning that are pertinent for oxygen equipment, cleaning with oxygen compatible cleaners and cleaning equipment for oxygen service.

1. Cleaning with oxygen-compatible cleaners

Oxygen can react with any residue, particles, dirt, oil, grease or other contaminants that are left on the surface of equipment the comes into contact with oxygen, such as the cylinder surface. The body of a cylinder or a regulator for example, should be cleaned with chemicals that will leave nothing behind that will cause an interaction with oxygen.

2. Cleaning equipment for oxygen service

Surfaces that come into direct contact with oxygen, such as the valve opening on a cylinder, the inside of a cylinder or oxygen connection, must not only be cleaned with an oxygen compatible cleaner, but also with special equipment and processes to ensure that the surface has no particles left behind. If there are even small particles on the wetted surface, the speed of the oxygen coming out of the valve, could actually ignite the particles. The procedure you’ll have to follow for this is found in CGA G 4.1.

What about leak testing?

According to FDA guidance and industry standards, soap and water solutions used to leak test are not recommended and may even prove dangerous. Soap contains animal fats ( lard ) which burns easily and explosive-like in oxygen. Synthetic soap such as dish washing soap (Dawn, Joy, etc.) contain petroleum ( oil ). Some soaps contain both. These solutions leave residues on the valve that, when they come in contact with high pressure oxygen, can ignite and cause a fire.

The FDA requires 2 leak tests during the fill process, one while the cylinder is filling and another on the cylinder after they have been filled. This test must be done on every cylinder, to ensure that the contents of the cylinder is not leaking out, and that the patient will receive the full contents of the cylinder.

To properly clean / disinfect cylinders, providers should:

  • Use the cleaner/disinfectant on the cylinder body only. (NOT on the valve opening)
  • Ensure NO contaminants are left behind by inspecting according to CGA G-4.1 and use a black light.(Applied #1100-9994)
  • If contaminants are found, use a CGA listed and approved oxygen cleaner. (Applied #1100-0026-1)

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