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ST79 Steam Quality

Did you know the most recent updates to the AAMI standards includes a section where steam quality must be tested on a regular basis?

“ Steam quality Facility engineering personnel should ensure steam quality by

a) monitoring, controlling, and documenting the process of generating steam;

b) testing steam against the following critical variables:

• steam dryness between 97% and 100%,
• non-condensable gases (e.g., air) at a level (less than 3.5% v/v condensate) that will not impair steam penetration into sterilization loads,
• superheat of steam (expressed as a temperature in degrees above saturation point) of less than 25°C (77°F);

c) maintaining steam traps and boilers/generators; and assessing and documenting the steam quality upon installation or relocation of the sterilizer and after any change to the steam distribution lines or boiler supply water.

Rationale: Steam that is too dry can contribute to superheating and, consequently, to suboptimal steam sterilization conditions. Steam that is too wet can lead to wet packs after sterilization and compromise sterility.

© 2017 Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation ■ ANSI/MM I ST79:2017

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