What Things Could Cause Cleanroom Contamination?
Cleanrooms are an essential part of scientific, medical, and laboratory experiments because they provide a controlled environment with the least amount of contaminants. The cleanliness of cleanrooms is determined by how many particles—and we are talking about particles from less than a micron in size to much larger—are contained within a cubic foot of space in the cleanroom. The smaller the number of particles, the cleaner the room is, but the reverse can also be true.
One of the biggest challenges for lab techs working inside cleanrooms is keeping contaminants out. Humans are one of the biggest sources of contaminants, from shedding skin cells and hair to the minute particles of dust and dirt on their clothing. Other contaminants people can bring into a cleanroom are germs, bacteria, viruses, and bodily fluids and oils.
Other than the human factor, techs have to ensure anything brought into the cleanroom has been cleaned or covered to prevent contamination. Even the slightest introduction of particles into a cleanroom from an object or piece of equipment can drastically affect the outcome of experiments.
How Do You Prevent Cleanroom Contamination?
The best place to start is with your employees, and the procedures used to enter and exit the cleanroom. All employees should be required to shower prior to entering the cleanroom, and have a controlled environment where they can don cleanroom garments and clothing. Next, employees should be banned from wearing jewelry, cologne, perfume, cosmetics, and other personal care products. You would be surprised to learn that even deodorants and antiperspirants can cause contamination in cleanrooms. In addition, if an employee is sick, keep them out of the cleanroom.
A cleanroom needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. There are all sorts of things within the cleanroom that contribute to creating particles. From vibrations between objects to air cooling and heating systems, particles are going to get in, and they need to be removed through the appropriate cleaning processes. Cleaning procedures have to be clearly defined and specific protocols followed in order to avoid contaminating the cleanroom. You also need to ensure any cleaning products used within the clean room will not alter the outcome of experiments or result in the creation of additional particles.
Maintenance is another essential aspect to lowering the likelihood of causing contamination within a cleanroom. Any systems used to keep particles out should be inspected on a regular basis. Not establishing maintenance schedules and adhering to them will definitely increase the possibility the cleanroom is going to be contaminated. Additionally, someone has to be tasked with measuring particle levels within the cleanroom frequently, so that their levels can be monitored.
Lastly, any materials, equipment, or other items brought into the cleanroom for use in experiments, cleaning, or maintenance have to be properly cleaned and protected before they are brought into the room. Even something as simple as a notepad and ink pen that has not been sterilized or cleaned could introduce contaminant-causing particles into the air and ruin the experiment.
By taking the time to identify potential contaminants and developing the right procedures, you are sure to reduce the chances of causing contamination within your cleanroom. For all of your cleanroom apparel and service needs, please feel free to contact Prudential Overall Supply today at 800-767-5536.