This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'How much Ethylene Oxide contains the Covid 19 PCR tests , Rapid tests and Cervical smear tests?'.

By email 
Our ref: 11/12/22/IF/1136 
9 January 2023 
Dear Katon bouzalakos, 
Re: Freedom of Information request - How much Ethylene Oxide contains the 
Covid 19 PCR tests , Rapid tests and Cervical smear tests?
Thank you for your request received on 11 December 2022 addressed to the UK 
Health Security Agency (UKHSA). In accordance with Section 1(1)(a) of the 
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act), I can confirm that UKHSA does hold the 
information you have specified.  
All COVID-19 tests and Cervical Smear Tests contain sterilizing agents like 
ethylene oxide 
this was proven in Cyprus, 26 October 2021 from the Cyprus workers Union 
they found large amount of Ethylene Oxide. 
What sterilizing agent UK COVID-19 PCR, Rapid and cervical smear tests 
What is the amount of sterilizing agent on each test? 
In accordance with Section 1(1)(a) of the Act, UKHSA can confirm that it does hold 
the information you have specified. 
For lateral flow tests (rapid tests) UKHSA can confirm that all swabs from our LFDs 
in deployment use Ethylene Oxide as part of their sterilisation process. This is the 
most used sterilisation method in the healthcare industry and is an important 
sterilisation method that manufacturers widely use to keep medical devices safe. 
UKHSA can also confirm that any traces of ethylene oxide remaining in the lateral 
flow device or packaging after sterilisation are well below limits that would be 
considered hazardous for health and comply with international standards. This has 
been confirmed with all our lateral flow providers. 


The supplier for our only Active PCR Swab (Medical Wire) stock uses Irradiation as 
their sterilisation process meaning no EtO is used. The process is ISO 11137 
If you have any queries regarding the information that has been supplied to you, 
please refer your query to the Information Rights Team in writing in the first instance. 
If you remain dissatisfied and would like to request an internal review, then please 
contact us at the address above or by emailing  
Please note that you have the right to an independent review by the Information 
Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if a complaint cannot be resolved through the UKHSA 
complaints procedure. The ICO can be contacted by calling the ICO’s helpline on 
0303 123 1113, visiting the ICO’s website at or writing to the ICO at 
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. 
Yours sincerely,  
Information Rights Team