What Are Common Sources of Cleanroom Contamination?
A variety of industries take advantage of what a cleanroom can provide. Although they were once only associated with NASA and circuit board production, clean manufacturing practices have made cleanrooms much more mainstream. For instance, cleanrooms can now be found in assembly plants and industrial facilities worldwide.
Consider the following statistic reported by Grand View Research. It indicates that in the year 2016 alone, the cleanroom technology industry generated over $3 billion in market size. In other words, you’re not alone if your organization has invested in the resources provided by a proper cleanroom.
Of course, there are many ins and outs to navigate when it comes to maintaining a proper cleanroom. It’s an unfortunate truth that contamination is all too easy.
The good news, though, is that you’ve come to the right place by reading this article. Detailed is everything you need to know about the most common sources of cleanroom contamination. Plus, you’ll learn how to prevent them as much as possible.
Human Hygiene Is a Particular Threat to Cleanrooms
Believe it or not, the biggest threat to the purity of a cleanroom is the presence of humans themselves. This is true, in particular, when an employee doesn’t practice appropriate hygiene.
In fact, even experts recognize that the presence of microbiomes from humans in cleanrooms has a detrimental effect. For this reason, it can be of particular importance to train and educate your cleanroom employees of required hygiene habits.
Non-Compliant Equipment and Supplies
A common and often overlooked source of contamination in a controlled environment is using non-compliant supplies and equipment.
Selecting the proper supplies that are designed and manufactured for the appropriate ISO class is crucial. For example, nitrile cleanroom gloves should not be dispensed from a cardboard box within the cleanroom. The fibers can break away from the box, thus releasing particulate into the air.
Wipes and other cleaning supplies should also be rated for cleanroom use. Using standard paper towels or cloths can do major damage and quickly compromise the room. Cleanroom wipes come in a different levels of cleanliness – each designed for a specific ISO Class. Be sure to choose an option that meets your specific cleanroom requirement.
Other not-so-obvious sources include mouse pads, pens, paper, sticky notes, notebooks, and name badge holders.
Browse our selection of cleanroom documentation for compliant versions of the above mentioned items.
Presence of Smoke in the Surrounding Area of a Cleanroom
It’s in your best interest to avoid any smoking areas within about one hundred feet of your cleanroom’s entrances. Plus, make sure your employees know that they have to take a complete shower after smoking a cigarette before visiting the cleanroom.
The Facility and Airflow
The facility itself can be a source of harmful yet subtle contamination. The ceiling, in particular, is often overlooked when cleaning because it can be difficult to reach. Using extended mop handles can simplify this task.
Windows, walls, and the floor collect particulate and should be cleaned regularly.
The airflow of a room can also cause contamination. Take the time to measure and maintain the atmosphere in a cleanroom. For more detailed specifics, check out this article about the ideal cleanroom temperature and airflow.
Make the Most of Your Cleanroom Environment
At this point in the article, you have a thorough understanding of today’s top threats to cleanrooms. There’s no need to cut corners when it comes to avoiding the contamination of a cleanroom. For that reason, you’ll take the above guidelines seriously.
Of course, it’s still worthwhile to continue investing in the proper care and maintenance of your cleanroom. There are a lot of ins and outs to navigate when it comes to proper cleanroom etiquette and procedures. For one thing, you’ll need to stay relevant to today’s latest cleanroom technologies and equipment.
In fact, that’s where we can come into play. We’re here to prioritize bringing clients like you the most reliable cleanroom supplies and equipment on the market.
That’s why we encourage you to browse through the rest of our website today. On our blog, you’ll find today’s latest and greatest advice regarding the management of a modern cleanroom. To start, check out more information about the cleanroom equipment and tools we can offer you and your organization.
The information supplied in this article is for guidance only. Not all cleanrooms will use the same procedures. Follow your specific cleanroom or company procedural manual before this guide.