This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
To the Editor:—
The article by Allen and Murphy in The Journal, April 16, page 1759, on the use of beta-propiolactone for sterilizing surgical instruments and the comment by Wisely and Falk in the issue of July 9, page 1161, concerning the carcinogenicity of beta-propiolactone have prompted several queries to us in regard to its possible toxicity in biological products. This letter is intended to correct some popular misconceptions concerning beta-propiolactone as it is used in these products.The beta-propiolactone molecule remains stable only in the absence of water. In this state it is a caustic vesicant and is capable of producing chemical burns in the tissue in which it is placed. Of great importance is the fact that, in aqueous solutions, beta-propiolactone is rapidly and completely decomposed into hydracrylic acid, a molecule differing from lactic acid only in the position of the OH group. In the presence of aqueous
Peck FB. STERILIZATION OF BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTS WITH BETA-PROPIOLACTONE. JAMA. 1960;174(14):1883. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030140105031
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: