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Environmental Health and Safety
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Autoclave Testing

Steam sterilizers are required to be tested by the user every six months. Any commercially available test indicator that uses bacterial spores (Bacillus stearothermophilus) is appropriate. A positive control (do not sterilize one vial) must be included as a part of each test. The dates of certification must be posted near the autoclave.

Autoclaves used with HUMAN pathogens or tissues (including blood) are required by state law to be tested after every 40 hours of use. Additionally, each load of material inactivated in that autoclave must be logged as follows: date, time, operator, amount of waste and confirmation of sterilization (autoclave tape).

Biohazard bags that are used for inactivation of human pathogens or tissues must meet impact requirements (165 grams) and tearing resistance (480 grams) requirements. Written documentation from the bag manufacturer must be kept on file.