7 Ways to Reduce Contamination in Cleanrooms

Reduce Contamination in Cleanrooms

A cleanroom bears its name for a reason: its very purpose is to stay sanitary and free of contaminants to maintain a stable work environment. Because employees handle sensitive equipment and components in these critical areas, keeping contaminants at bay is essential to everyday workflow, and ultimately, maintaining profitability.

It may come as no surprise that your employees are the most common source of contamination in your cleanrooms. What you may find surprising, however, are the simple steps you can take to minimize contamination risks. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective tips, below.

1.       Practice Good Hygiene

Practice Good Hygiene
Practice Good Hygiene

Humans naturally produce particles. Our bodies shed contaminants, producing detritus like skin flakes and particles from hair products, cosmetics, and lotions. Thus, while good hygiene can limit the level of contaminants spread in the cleanroom, it’s also important to consider ways in which certain steps of getting ready might be skipped or altered for the purpose of limiting contaminants. Even perfume and cologne, for instance, can produce contaminants. Since 75-80% of particles found in cleanroom inspections are produced by personnel, it’s a good idea to establish a set of hygiene recommendations for your employees to follow.

 

2.       Be Especially Mindful of Hands

TechniGlove Nitrile Cleanroom Glove
TechniGlove Nitrile Cleanroom Glove

A good portion of cleanliness violations result from bare hands touching surfaces, then transferring these particles onto garments before they enter the cleanroom. To make sure your employees aren’t contaminating anything that will be worn inside your critical environments, consider installing no-touch sensors in the areas where your employees don their cleanroom gear. This will allow them to still wash their hands without picking up any excess particles in the process. Cleanroom Gloves are used in areas that have specific requirements for low contamination risk.

Cleanroom Gloves are disposable gloves designed and clean-processed for contamination control and sterility required work environments including cleanrooms, laboratory and ESD work areas. Minimize sub-micron particle contamination by using gloves designed and manufactured for Cleanrooms.

3.       Don Gear Properly

Don from Top to Bottom
Don from Top to Bottom

The way your employees put their disposable apparel on is just as important as the garments themselves. Because particles are also impacted by the pull of gravity, donning procedures should start at the top. Employees can then work their way down. While each company’s donning procedures may be unique to its specific needs, it’s a good idea to adopt a head-to-toe procedure to prevent contaminants from falling and settling on clean shoe covers.

 

4.       Limit Speaking

Limit Speaking
Limit Speaking

A quiet cleanroom doesn’t just boost productivity; it also has the power to reduce contaminants. Consider the fact that loud speaking of just 100 words (less than a minute of normal conversation!) can produce up to 250 particles of saliva. Of course, there are also some contaminants which may not be avoided, such as coughs and sneezes, which produce roughly 5,000 and 1,000,000 saliva particles, respectively. What’s a simple way to limit contamination from saliva particles in your cleanroom? Wear a face mask designed for Cleanrooms.

5.       Designate “Cleanroom Only” Supplies

Cleanroom Pens
Cleanroom Pens

Taking a pen from outside the cleanroom into the critical work environment might seem harmless, but employees who do so will also unintentionally bring a plethora of contaminants inside with it. Not only should you have cleanroom pens, cleanroom notebooks, and any other tools or instruments designated specifically for cleanroom use only, but you should also make sure they’re compliant with your standards. In other words, the supplies you’re using should also have been produced in a cleanroom environment.

Cleanroom paper packaged in class 10 cleanrooms, for instance, is considered safe for use in class 10 cleanrooms or higher. Cleanroom paper products are impregnated and coated with a polymer. This keeps the paper from generating tiny particulates when written on. Keep your area clean of paper contaminants by using documentation designed just for Cleanrooms.

6.       Take Care When Entering & Exiting

Take Care When Entering & Exiting Cleanrooms
Take Care When Entering & Exiting Cleanrooms

After employees enter and exit cleanrooms, encourage them to take an extra moment to ensure doors are tightly shut. It’s a good practice to make sure the door leading to the changing room is also closed before the cleanroom door is opened to prevent additional particles from making their way into the buffer area. In fact, you can further eliminate the spread of contaminants by separating your gowning room into three distinct areas. One for the non-sterile space directly outside of the room, where employees can keep personal items and clean shoes. The second space is the sterile “dirty” area, where employees prepare for gowning. Finally, the last space should be designated for gowning and taking final preparations before entering.

7.       Move Slowly

Move Slowly in Cleanrooms
Move Slowly in Cleanrooms

The more rapidly movement occurs inside the cleanroom, the more particles will be given off. To combat excess contamination, employees should move slowly and deliberately as they approach work stations. They should also be encouraged to enter and exit cleanrooms slowly.

 

By incorporating these tips into your cleanroom protocol, you might be able to significantly reduce the number of contaminants inside. You can find cleanroom documentation, cleanroom disposable apparel, and more supplies suitable for cleanroom use online through Harmony Business Supplies. If there’s a specific item you need help with, a product specialist will be happy to assist you.

Harmony Business Supplies

Cleanroom Shoe Covers: 3 Factors to Consider

Cleanroom Shoe Covers 3 Factors to Consider

Having the proper cleanroom shoe covers helps limit the number of contaminants entering your environment. Because operators themselves are the leading source of cleanroom contaminants, outfitting them with the proper disposable attire is critical. Not every environment requires the same type of cleanroom shoe covers, however. Ultimately, the best type for your company will depend on a number of different factors.

To decide which type of shoe covers is best for your cleanroom, take a look at the following key considerations:

Necessary Features 

In order to be considered cleanroom compatible, shoe covers must meet some specific requirements. For instance, basic fabric shoe covers might work for open houses and other general applications, but in cleanrooms, they’re liable to release fibers and compromise your environment. Shoe covers made from non-woven materials, however, are better suited for cleanrooms because they reduce particulate release.

Specifically, spunbound polypropylene is the go-to choice for shoe covers to be used in cleanroom settings. In addition to materials, you’ll also want to consider any other features your shoe covers may need, such as conductive strips. Conductive strip shoe covers are designed to reduce static and will help keep even your most static-sensitive cleanroom devices protected. Water and abrasion resistance are additional features you may need to consider, depending on the type of work performed in your environment.

Comfort & Fit

Donning a pair of shoe covers shouldn’t interrupt an operator’s workflow. Thus, you should seek out shoe covers with a slip-on design to make the process as convenient as possible for employees. It’s also helpful to have shoe covers available in a range of sizes, as your operators likely have different shoe sizes.

Additionally, clunkier shoe styles could make it difficult for operators to wear covers that are too small in size, so it’s always wise to keep larger sizes on hand. That being said, shoe covers that are too large (XL and up) for the wearers with smaller feet may leave too much extra fabric and increase the risk of slips or tears. Take a look at the measurements of the covers when placing your order to make an informed decision before purchasing.

Floor Surface

More than likely, your cleanroom likely has a smooth floor. When coupled with the fabric of shoe covers, smooth floors are notorious for causing slips. To keep your operators safe from slips and falls, you may want to consider shoe covers with added traction. In order to reduce slips, these shoe covers are specially designed with small strips on the sole for gripping the floor better than regular covers, or the entire sole is slip resistant.

They are available in a variety of seizes and are just as safe for use in cleanrooms as other options. Made from spunbound polypropylene, skid-free shoe covers are among the most highly sought-after options for cleanroom operators.

 

Harmony Business Supplies has a broad range of affordable cleanroom shoe covers available to meet your company’s unique needs. You can check out our extensive selection of shoe covers as well as additional disposable apparel online.

Disposable Apparel in Cleanrooms

Disposable Apparel in Cleanrooms

What is a Cleanroom?

A cleanroom is a controlled environment used in manufacturing, laboratories, scientific research, pharmaceutical, and other industrial applications. Cleanroom environments have controlled, low levels of environment pollutants and contaminates. The cleanliness of cleanrooms are measured by the number of particles per cubic meter in the air. An ISO 1 Cleanroom has only 12 particles per cubic meter, opposed to a typical urban environment that has 35,000,000 particles per cubic meter.

Why do Cleanrooms matter?

When constructing delicate equipment or doing specific scientific research, controlling the environment you are in is paramount to consistent and reliable results and manufacturing.

The modern cleanroom was invented by American physicist Willis Whitfield. Whitfield designed his cleanroom with a constant, highly filtered air flow to flush out impurities. Within a few years of its invention in the 1960s, Whitfield’s modern cleanroom spawned a revolution in high tech manufacturing.

Cleanrooms can be very large. Entire manufacturing facilities can be contained within a cleanroom with factory floors covering thousands of square meters. They are used extensively in semiconductor manufacturing, biotechnology, the life sciences, and other fields that are very sensitive to environmental contamination. There are also modular cleanrooms.

In the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, control of microorganisms is important, especially microorganisms likely to be deposited into the air stream from skin shedding.

How do you keep a Cleanroom clean?

Besides regular cleanroom cleaning and maintenance, once a cleanroom is established, personnel must wear special apparel when entering the cleanroom, in order to maintain its particle levels and not generate more particles.

What do you wear in a Cleanroom?

Disposable cleanroom apparel is a popular choice because you don’t have to launder the clothing, you can just toss it out and use a fresh new set, saving time and money.

Disposable Coveralls

Disposable Coveralls help provide overall protection from chemicals and particles in cleanrooms, laboratories, production environments, and more. They also greatly reduce particles generated from skin shedding and personal clothing.

Disposable Coveralls come with attached hood and boot configurations lending themselves to Cleanroom uses, offering more complete covering and protection.

Cleanroom Gloves

Wearing disposable gloves in cleanrooms are required to prevent contamination. Special Cleanroom Gloves are clean-processed and designed to meet the demands of pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotech manufacturers in controlled environments, as well as professionals in lab environments. Cleanroom Gloves are designed to protect both the personnel and the products being made/handled. Wearing Cleanroom Gloves minimizes sub-micron particle contamination of the product or process from the operator’s hands.

Cleanroom Gloves serve a critical function inside a cleanroom or controlled-environment ensuring product quality and safety.

Disposable Shoe Covers & Disposable Boot Covers

Keeps floors clean and safe and prevents tracking dirt and particles into the cleanroom. Wearing shoe covers are essential to maintaining a cleanroom environment.

Cleanroom Face Masks

People are a significant source of contamination in Cleanrooms. Having the right mask for the job, can make a critical difference. Cleanroom Face Masks are used in many different industries and controlled environments, including laboratories, research facilities, aerospace, and semiconductor industries.

Cleanroom Face Masks provide comfort with excellent filtration to avoid contamination in Cleanrooms. Cleanroom Face Masks are engineered for protection against the entry of particulates into a cleanroom or other controlled environments.

Disposable Bouffants & Beard Covers

Disposable Bouffant Caps are worn on the head to provide defense against contamination from hair while remaining comfortable to wear. Bouffant Caps are light weight, strong, durable, and non-linting caps. Keeps hair out of your eyes and out of your work area. These tear resistant bouffant caps are ideal for clean rooms and other sensitive environments.

Disposable Beard Covers are necessary items to have in stock in plants, manufacturing, etc. and are often required by the FDA. After use, employees can simply throw them away. Made of lightweight polypropylene beard covers are comfortable and cool enough for employees to wear all day.

Adhesive Mats in Cleanrooms

Adhesive mats are also used in Cleanrooms. While not an apparel item, adhesive mats play a vital role. Placed on the floor at traffic entrances and exits, this adhesive film instantly captures dirt and particles from the bottom of shoes and equipment wheels, helping to keep the floors clean and maintain the clean environment.

With the right disposable apparel from head to toe, you can prevent contamination in your cleanroom and clean environments and keep your cleanroom operating at the right state, guaranteeing reliable performance for your applications or testing.

If you have questions about cleanroom disposable apparel, feel free to give us a call at 800-899-1255 or email us at info@harmonycr.com.

 

Disposable Shoe Covers & You

disposable shoe covers

What are Disposable Shoe Covers for?

Disposable shoe covers are used in homes, hospitals, clean rooms and other industries. They are used by construction workers, food service personnel, plumbers, Doctors and Nurses, realtors, carpet cleaners and more.

The main purpose of Disposable Shoe Covers is to help prevent contamination.

In many hospitals, doctors and surgeons use disposable shoe covers when they enter the operating room; when they are done they just throw away the shoe covers. Similar practices are often involved in Industrial Clean Rooms. This whole process is conducted to keep the area pure and clean.

Just wearing shoes tracks germs into the area, it’s safe and easy to use disposable shoe covers to keep sensitive areas clean.

 

The Three Main Types of Disposable Shoe Covers:

 

HSC-RS-21.  Standard Disposable Shoe Covers

 

Standard Shoe Covers are made from spunbond polypropylene. These shoe covers are a good choice for critical environments, food handling, industrial mfg, construction and general maintenance. These are normally used in carpeted areas and in food service spaces. They help to prevent dirt, dust and germs from being tracked into the area and keep the area clean.

 

LIB15420-Parent-22.  Skid Resistant Disposable Shoe Covers

Reduce Slips! Non-Skid tread on the shoe cover soles provide extra traction and help to reduce falls. 100% spunbond polypropylene helps filter particulates for added contamination control in critical environments. Lightweight spunbound material makes these disposable shoe covers light, comfortable and protective.

 

 

T330ETH-PAR-23.  Water Resistant Disposable Shoe Covers 

Carpet cleaners, contractors and Medical Professionals all prefer to wear water resistant shoe covers. Seamless one piece design protects your shoes against liquids. Made from lint free polyethylene film, which is thicker than spunbond polypropylene for added protection. Low density polyethylene film keeps costs down while affording protection from water based liquids.

 

Why use Disposable Shoe Covers?

These days, disposable shoe covers are preferred over washable shoe covers. The main reason is that they are more hygienic as compared to washable shoe covers.

Studies have shown that even though you wash these shoe covers but still they are likely to have germs and bacteria. That could be very dangerous because these shoe covers are used in sensitive areas like operating rooms, cleanrooms, and food service areas. That’s why it is better to be cautious.

The material used for making these shoes could be of polypropylene, polyethylene and a mix of both, Microporous, Tyvek and other flexible materials.

 

Disposable shoe covers are used in settings such as commercial, healthcare, pharmacies, bakeries, estate agents, cleanrooms and many other industries. Disposable shoe covers can be used for clinical or industrial purposes and are normally used for carpets, tiled floors, medical centers, hospitals, cleanrooms, and food service areas.

No matter which type or style of these shoes you choose, they are very helpful in keeping the dirt and germs out of your homes, offices, and industries.

The best part about these shoes is that they are disposable. You don’t have to go through the process of washing them. Just use them and throw them off when you’re done!

 

Browse our great selection of quality disposable shoe covers here.

Not sure what type to disposable shoe cover to choose?

Get in touch with us and we’ll be glad to assist you!

Harmony Business Supplies