Vaporized Hydrogen PeroxideVaporized Hydrogen Peroxide

Vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) is a deep vacuum, low-temperature vapor process that has traditionally been used for sterilization of reusable medical devices in patient care facilities.

STERIS AST offers vaporized hydrogen peroxide processing using the STERIS VHP® LTS-V Low Temperature Sterilizer, manufactured by STERIS Life Sciences for terminal sterilization of medical devices.

What is Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide?

VHP sterilization technology from STERIS utilizes Vaprox® Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilant to achieve product and package surface sterilization, validated to SAL 10-6 in accordance with ISO14937. Vaprox Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilant is a specially formulated, stabilized, high-purity, 35% aqueous hydrogen peroxide solution.

What is Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide Used For?

VHP is compatible with a wide range of polymeric materials, making it an effective sterilization method for single-use healthcare products such as:

  • Implants and devices with electronics
  • Pharmaceutical containers
  • Parenteral drug delivery systems such as pre-filled syringes
  • Combination delivery devices
  • Single-packaged assembled complex devices
  • Complete assemblies or devices with loose components (e.g. needles)
  • Temperature sensitive devices

The Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilization Process

The VHP process includes three phases: Conditioning, sterilant exposure and post-conditioning, with all phases performed within a single chamber. The process is carried out under deep vacuum conditions of typically 1-10 millibar (0.03-0.3 inches Hg), with a temperature range of typically 28-40°C (82-104oF).

Total cycle time (from door closed to door open) is typically eight hours or less. However, cycle time may vary depending on product composition, packaging materials, temperature, and load size and configuration.

The STERIS Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide Offering

STERIS provides VHP sterilization solutions to manufacturers of healthcare products, whether your needs require contract services or in-house applications.

STERIS AST offers contract VHP sterilization services at our Tullamore, Ireland facility. The VHP offering is included within the scope of the facility’s ISO 13485 certification, allowing STERIS to offer full validation and routine VHP sterilization to our Customers.

STERIS Life Sciences offers a full range of VHP sterilization and biodecontamination equipment, Vaprox® hydrogen peroxide sterilant, and sterility assurance products for in-house applications.

Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide Summary


VHP is a deep vacuum, low temperature vapor sterilization process

Technology Variables

  • Exposure time
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Pressure (vacuum)
  • VHP concentration

Product Considerations

  • Material Compatibility

    Compatible with most materials

    Cellulose-based materials and highly absorbent materials are not compatible.

  • Vapor Pathway

    Vapor must reach surfaces requiring sterilization

  • Density

    Surface sterilization process (limited penetration capabilities)

Possible Effects

VHP breaks down safely into water and oxygen.

Low residual levels.

No known oxidation or discoloration effects.

Exposure Time

      • (time varies based on product requirements)


As a global leading sterilization and decontamination specialist, STERIS AST has over 40 years experience in providing safe and effective electron beam irradiation sterilization.

Contact our team of experts to find out more about our Global Contract Sterilization, Testing and Validation Services.