Monday, February 7, 2011

A Discussion of Basic Clean Room Standards

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An article by Roger McFadden, Senior Scientist of Coastwide Laboratories (A division of Staples) discusses the basics of a clean room setup and lists the important elements of an effective design. The elements listed in the article are HEPA, Cleanroom Architecture, Filtration, Cleaning, Cleanroom Garments and finally, the physical and psychological condition of the human workers who are entering the sterile environment. Two of the most important factors for a successful clean room from this list are cleaning and clean room garments. The article itself gives an explanation of the importance of these items:

“Cleaning is an essential element of contamination control. Decisions need to be made about the details of cleanroom maintenance and cleaning. Applications and procedures need to be written and agreed upon by cleanroom management and contractors (if used). There are many problems associated with cleaning.”

The article poses questions, such as: how is clean measured? And: what materials can be used in the cleanroom? The importance of cleanroom garments is also outlined:

“The requirements for cleanroom garments will vary from location to location. It is important to know the local garment requirements of the cleanroom management. Gloves, face masks and head covers are standard in nearly every cleanroom environment. Smocks are being used more and more. Jump suits are required in very clean environments.”

The article has some interesting graphs regarding the amount of particles per minute that are moved around the room when humans in the environment are motionless, walking around and even engaging in horseplay. It’s definitely an interesting read for those in an industry which requires clean room technology and maintenance.

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