ethylene oxide

n.A biocide used as a fumigant to kill mold and to sterilize materials.

Citations

Hengemihle, Weberg, and Shahani 1995 Over the past several decades, ethylene oxide gained such wide acceptance in the library and archival preservation world, that in spite of the risks its usage presents, it has not been easy to replace with another fumigant. . . . A little over ten years ago, several public and private repositories routinely fumigated materials that were even remotely suspected of mold or insect infestation. For example, the U.S. National Archives subjected all incoming records to ethylene oxide fumigation as a precautionary measure for several decades. Now we know that ethylene oxide can be deadly not just for mold and insects, but also for us if it is not used within accepted limits.