Comm Eye Health Vol. 11 No. 25 1998 pp 15. Published online 01 March 1998.

Letter. Sterilization of surgical instruments

Dr Kapal Mit Singh

Chandigarh, India

Related content

Dear Sir

The article ‘Sterilization and Disinfection’ in Vol 9, No.19, 1996, is very useful and informative.

In ‘Chemical Methods’ acetone is not discussed. Has it become obsolete or is there any other reason?


Sue Stevens RGN RM OND FETC, Nurse Consultant, Community Eye Health Journal

Acetone has been a popular antiseptic/disinfectant used by ophthalmic personnel, particularly in developing countries.

The authors chose not to include it in the Journal article because a literature search on the agent was inconclusive, with such conflicting opinions that it was believed to be unhelpful in an article designed to give clear guidelines. Current texts do not list it as a recommended chemical disinfectant.

The disadvantages of using acetone are that it evaporates rapidly; it is a safety hazard because it is highly inflammable and it does not destroy fungi and spores.


1 Drews RC. Ann Ophthalmol 1977; 9: 781-4.

2 Agarwal V, Sharma S. Indian J Ophthalmol 1993; 41(1): 20-2.