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 IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc., announced today that it has entered the U.S. sterilizer market with a patented system that has just received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
 The new system employs a patented low temperature gas plasma technology that avoids the potentially harmful chemical emissions to hospital workers and the environment from ethylene oxide. The innovative STERRAD Sterilization System provides rapid, safe and effective sterilization of medical instruments and devices by gas plasma.
 The STERRAD Sterilization System combines radio waves with hydrogen peroxide to create a gas plasma that interacts with and destroys micro-organisms, including highly resistant bacterial spores. The technology is designed to provide a needed alternative to sterilization by steam or ethylene oxide especially for instruments such as fiberoptic devices, endoscopic and respiratory equipment, power tools and microsurgical instruments that are sensitive to heat and moisture.
 The patented STERRAD System is manufactured and marketed by Advanced Sterilization Products, a division of Johnson & Johnson Medical.
 The STERRAD System completes an entire sterilization cycle in about one hour and requires no special ventilation or aeration since hydrogen peroxide gas plasma forms harmless water vapor and oxygen when sterilization is complete. The STERRAD System combines hydrogen peroxide with RF (radio frequency) energy to produce the reactive plasma. The RF energy breaks the hydrogen peroxide into free radicals that are reactive components of the plasma. The hydrogen peroxide is continuously depleted as free radicals recombine to form oxygen and moisture vapor. At the end of the process, no harmful residues remain on sterilized devices.
 It leaves no toxic residuals as ethylene oxide does and won't degrade medical devices as steam can. The STERRAD System is expected to be used in hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and clinics, and is the first significant addition to hospital sterilization technology in 40 years.
 The system is significantly faster than ethylene oxide processing, which requires about two hours for sterilization followed by eight to 12 hours of aeration to reduce toxic residues. Use of ethylene oxide is heavily regulated by OSHA and requires special exhaust systems to limit harmful emissions from entering the atmosphere.
 The STERRAD System has been marketed in Germany and France since 1992. It was launched in Australia this year and will be released in other countries in the near future. The system destroys a wide variety of the most resistant micro-organisms, including spores, in about one hour. The STERRAD unit is about four cubic feet (100 liters) and is designed to handle several trays of medical devices at a time.
 With the introduction of the STERRAD Sterilization System, Johnson & Johnson continues the tradition of leadership in sterilization technology it has maintained for nearly a century. Founder Robert Wood Johnson was one of the earliest proponents of Joseph Lister's "invisible germ" theory, and the company's first scientific director, Fred Kilmer, is considered by many to be the "father" of modern day hospital asepsis. Their leadership produced the first industrial autoclave, patient-ready sterile gauze and dressings, and dry heat sterilization.
 -0- 10/7/93
 /CONTACT: F. Robert Kniffin, 908-524-3535, or home, 609-799-0369, or (investors) Clarence E. Lockett, 908-524-6491, or home, 215-493-0757, both of Johnson & Johnson/

CO: Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc.; Advanced Sterilization Products ST: California, New Jersey IN: MTC SU: PDT

TW -- NY060 -- 9811 10/07/93 14:27 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 7, 1993

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