Category Archives: Blog

AALAS 2017: See You There!

In less than a month, Beta Star Life Science Equipment will be exhibiting at the 2017 American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) in Austin, TX. The 68th Annual Conference, which starts on October 16th, creates an opportunity for thousands of attendees to discuss and learn about the responsible and ethical care of animals to benefit people and animals. The AALAS organization exists to promote and support the humane care of animals in biomedical and laboratory research to create better lives for humans and animals. 4-Days of Technical Education Sessions covering vivarium facility management, novel techniques and technologies, and a host of niche learning opportunities covered on the AALAS National Meeting Website.

Beta Star Comes to Austin on October 16th

At Beta Star, we support the organization through the National and Regional Conferences that we attend every year. At our core, we are a life science equipment company specializing in providing sterilization equipment for vivarium and biomedical facilities. We design and manufacture our sterilizers to the highest standard of quality, because our job is to protect your research and we value the trust our customers give us to ensure their research is protected.

At this year’s booth, we will be showcasing our 26” x 26” sterilizer along with the release of our redesigned company logo! We’re proud to showcase our sterilizer at the show, as our expanded booth represents a continued commitment to the vivarium industry. Our new, expanded booth will showcase the 2626 Model, with a hands-on opportunity to take a look at the design and functionality. Be sure to visit us during the exhibition hours:

  • Monday, October 16th (8:30 AM – 5:00 PM)
  • Tuesday, October 17th (9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
  • Wednesday, October 18th (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)

Not planning to be at the show, but want to learn more about our equipment?
Contact us
today and we will be in touch with you shortly!

 

Sterilization of Biomedical Waste: the Case for Using Autoclaves

Autoclaves in Biohazardous and Infectious Environments

 

The need is not new. Since the dawn of medical research, a need for reliable disposal of biomedical, biohazardous, and infectious waste has existed. For many universities and research laboratories, the simple solution has been to hire a processing company and be done with the disposal process as soon as that supplier takes the waste. However, there are a multiple issues to consider before the next annual contract is signed with the biomedical waste management company.

Variable vs. Fixed Spending

The continued utilization of biomedical waste management companies leaves universities and commercial organizations exposed to the variability of operating expenses. Contract costs fluctuate with gas prices, insurance rates, and mark-up costs that multi-level logistics organizations charge.

Conversely, purchasing autoclaves for high-output facilities allows a fixed spending plan with multi-year amortization to defray the investment costs over several years. The multi-year amortization plan replaces the varying expense of the waste management contract. To protect your investment, Beta Star autoclave chambers are able to be covered under a 15-year warranty against the loss of chamber integrity.

Schedule Dependency and Lost Efficiencies

Building a streamlined approach to disposal of biomedical waste fulfills the research cycle from start to finish. Relying upon third-party organizations for waste disposal creates a high risk bottleneck that threatens your research process and facility’s safety. Conforming to a third party’s schedule requires you to create storage for biomedical waste, in its contaminated state, at your facility. Scheduling and pick-up costs necessitate storage of dangerous waste until enough waste is accumulated to financially and logistically warrant a pick-up. During this time, your organization opens itself up to accidental exposure caused by the mishandling and mismanagement of waste. An autoclave provides your staff with a way to immediately sterilize biomedical waste on-site, and lowers the number of dangerous movements of medical waste in biomedical waste bags (a.k.a. the “red bags”).

Meeting Legislative and Organizational Requirements

biomedical hazardous waste

Biomedical “Red Bag” Waste Ready for Autoclaving

Legislative regulations on biomedical waste first started in 1984 when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enacted the Hazardous and Solid Wastes Amendments (HSWA) to prohibit the land disposal of hazardous wastes while the wastes remained hazardous. Subsequently, the Medical Waste Tracking Act (MWTA) of 1989 was also enacted by the US EPA to reduce medical waste that was being disposed of at sea and washing up on East Coast beaches. The MWTA lasted for 2 years, until 1991, when the act expired and legislature controlling medical waste sterilization and disposal was picked up by state legislatures.

For our purposes, we will look at the requirements put forth by California’s Department of Public Health, and the approved methods it defines. As one of the strictest legislative states in the United States, California sets a good benchmark for biomedical waste disposal. Section 118215(c) of California’s standards and acceptable processes outlines standard processes for converting medical waste to solid waste, where it can be disposed of through approved and inexpensive trash removal methods. Of the limited standard options, sterilization through the use of autoclaves (referred to as steam sterilizers in the legislation) is listed with clearly defined operational outlines for time, temperature, pressure, and container type.

We Want to Help

At Beta Star, we’re passionate about research. More importantly, we understand the importance of protecting your research and the people inside your facility. As a custom designer and manufacturer of autoclaves, we want to work with you to provide a solution for efficient and thorough sterilization of biomedical waste in your facility. Get in touch with us today!

Autoclave vs. Sterilizer

Defining the seemingly synonymous terms for sterilization equipment

In the world of sterilization, there are a number of terms related to the equipment used to sterilize items in a laboratory such as: bedding, cages, instruments, tools, and hazardous waste. That equipment is frequently called a sterilizer, steam sterilizer, or autoclave, often shrouded in unknown reasoning behind the word choice.  While often used synonymously, there are distinctions between the three descriptions of sterilization equipment that must be understood.

 

STERILIZER

steam sterilizing autoclaveA sterilizer is any piece of equipment that is used to destroy all living organisms within the chamber through the use of specifically programmed sterilization cycles. By definition, Webster’s defines a sterilizer as a piece of equipment used to destroy microorganisms in or on, usually by bringing to a high temperature with steam, dry heat, or boiling liquid. However, there are a broad range of processes used for sterilizing:

  • Dry Heat Sterilization
  • Gas/Chemical Sterilization
  • Glass Bead Sterilization
  • Steam Sterilization
  • Sterilization With Ultraviolet Radiation

As a manufacturer, Beta Star specializes in the manufacturing and service for sterilizers that utilize saturated steam as the agent for sterilizing laboratory equipment and vivarium supplies such as animal cages, bedding, and waste. Beta Star also manufacturers specialized steam sterilizers used for bio-pharmaceutical research and production. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that of all methods available for sterilization, moist heat in the form of saturated steam under pressure is the most dependable.

 

AUTOCLAVE VS. STEAM STERILIZER

While the terms Autoclave and Steam Sterilizer are often used interchangeably…it is important to note that Autoclaves are used in many industrial applications including rubber vulcanization, plastic production and composite material curing. Autoclaves and Steam Sterilizers utilize a pressure vessel to subject vessel contents to controlled temperature and pressure conditions.

Steam Sterilizers are a specialized type of Autoclave which are designed, programmed and calibrated to render biological material sterile by precisely controlling, monitoring and recording chamber pressure, temperature and exposure time. Steam Sterilizers fulfill a critical role in laboratory research, bio-pharmaceutical production, and healthcare facilities as they provide precisely controlled, reproducible conditions used to maintain research integrity, pharmaceutical drug development and patient contact and inject-able materials.