The 4 Most Common Cleanroom Contaminators

The 4 Most Common Cleanroom Contaminators

Maintaining a cleanroom environment has unique challenges because it’s constantly being exposed to a number of contaminants. To stabilize your company’s particle count, identifying your leading sources of contamination is critical. While these sources may vary from one organization to the next, the most common contaminators tend to be similar across most industries.

Here, we discuss four of the most widespread culprits of contamination in cleanroom environments, along with strategies for combating each source:

Cleanroom Operators: While they’re likely the most highly-trained on reducing contamination, operators actually tend to be the leading source of it in cleanroom environments. Employees can compromise your particle count by neglecting to wear the required disposable apparel to maintain your cleanroom environment. Consider how an operator who just left the building for their lunch break might contaminate an environment by neglecting to wear the proper shoe covers, face masks, or other protective apparel. Frequent reinforcement of procedures, coupled with availability of necessary disposable resources, can help to prevent contamination by operators.

HVAC Systems: Inadequate air volume or velocity can impact your environment, exposing it to a rising number of particles. Even if your cleanroom is stable, it’s possible that HVAC systems working below capacity could be pulling in particles from nearby non-cleanroom environments and contaminating your critical areas. To prevent HVAC-related contamination, make sure you’re following the prescribed maintenance schedule for your HEPA filters. A general rule of thumb to follow is to have your pre-filters replaced at least twice per year.

Supplies: Wipes, gloves, and other cleanroom supplies can either help or hurt you in controlling contaminants. If you’re not using the proper shoe covers, for example, you could actually be increasing ESD risks instead of limiting them. The same goes for the gloves and wipes you select. Make sure that the supplies you choose are intended for use in your cleanroom level. For instance, wipes made from a polyester/cellulose blend are ideal for cleaning spills in controlled environments, and many are available for environments of varying classes. There are contaminant-reducing gloves designed specifically for cleanrooms. Using cleanroom documentation, such as paper and notepads, intended for use in cleanrooms is also helpful for reduce particle generation.

Cleaning Procedures: Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule is imperative in cleanrooms, and without strict adherence to procedures and schedules, your risk for contamination increases substantially. In addition to scheduling airborne particle counts, regular inspections should also be performed on work surfaces and in critical places. Also, while general cleanings should be performed frequently, you should also be following a schedule of deep cleanses to keep particle and bacterial counts down.

From cleanroom pens to wipes and apparel, Harmony Business Supplies has everything you need to help control contamination in your company’s cleanroom. Check out our extensive selection of particle-reducing products.

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.

 

If You Run A Cleanroom, Here’s How Harmony Fits In

cleanroomsupplies

Cleanroom Supplies from Harmony

At Harmony Business Supplies we know that cleanrooms require special attention and products when it comes to maintaining the operation of your controlled environment. If you run or manage a cleanroom, we offer great products designed just for use in cleanrooms of all types.

Disposable Apparel for Cleanrooms

Many cleanroom operations are moving to disposable apparel instead of resource heavy laundered apparel. Disposable apparel eliminates laundering costs and maintenance and still provides comfortable and reliable protection. Harmony supplies cleanroom face masks, cleanroom isolation gowns, lab coats & frocks, coveralls, and shoe covers that are all disposable, easy to use, and reliable.

Cleanroom Disposable Gloves

Available in assorted materials, our selection of Cleanroom Gloves are fit for any cleanroom job. 9-12 inches long cleanroom gloves in nitrile or latex and in assorted colors, you’re sure to find the disposable glove for your cleanroom needs. Our Cleanroom Gloves are also available in sterile or non-sterile. Leading brands of cleanroom gloves such as V-Clean, TechniGlove, and Cranberry, at lower prices.

Adhesive Mats For Cleanrooms

Adhesive Mats and Rollers for Cleanrooms are essential in controlling dust and dirt in cleanroom and other controlled environments. Harmony Business Supplies offers cleanroom mops, adhesive roller film, adhesive roller handles, and adhesive mats for cleanrooms in assorted sizes. Stop dirt in its tracks with our Adhesive Mats!

Cleanroom Documentation

Office Supplies and documentation are different for Cleanrooms and clean environments. Our specially designed cleanroom notebooks and cleanroom paper are coated and impregnated with a polymer. This coating keeps the paper from generating particles and contaminating the cleanroom. If you need a latex coating we have these products as well. Keep your area clean with our selection of cleanroom documentation, cleanroom paper, and cleanroom pens designed just for Cleanrooms.

Swabs for Cleanrooms

Swabs and Applicators in the Cleanroom are often required tools. Make sure you only get the highest quality swabs for work in cleanrooms. Harmony’s selection of cleanroom swabs are from top brands like Chemtronics, Huby, Puritan and TekniSwab to ensure quality, performance, and reliability. We have many different swab materials to choose for controlled environments including knitted polyester swabs, microfiber swabs, foam swabs, ESD swabs and cotton swabs in a wide assortment of sizes.

Cleanroom Polyethylene Tape

Polyethylene Tape for cleanrooms are used to seal and label safely in a controlled environment. Low Particulate, contaminant free tape wound on a clean plastic core and individually packaged in heat sealed bags in Class 100 environment. Polyethylene Cleanroom Tape has less particulates and higher adhesion than vinyl tapes and leaves no residue when removed.

Cleanroom Wipers

High Quallity Wipers are a must in Cleanrooms! We offer only top quality cleanroom wipers with features that our customers care about. Whether you need cleanroom wipes in materials like polyester, microfiber, or poly/cellulose, we have what you need for the job. Pre-saturated alcohol wipes are also extremely handy in cleanrooms. Shop our assortment of quality cleanroom wipes and save with our competitive prices.

If you need cleanroom supplies, we can help.

Contact us today (800-899-1255) for even more information on finding the products you need for your cleanroom or controlled environment.

Why Use Cleanroom Gloves for Critical Environments?

Concerned About High Levels of Cleanroom Contamination?

Make sure to use pure clean gloves manufactured for cleanrooms, and don’t use a standard industrial or medical grade glove in cleanrooms.

Why can’t you use a lower cost industrial grade or Medical grade glove in defined clean rooms?

 

Why Use Cleanroom Gloves for Critical Environments?

  • The chlorination manufacturing process of Cleanroom Gloves reduces the natural rubber protein levels as well as particulate and ionic residuals.
  • Chlorination also reduces tack levels by washing the gloves in a solution of chlorine gas and water. Less tack allows for easier glove donning off and on!
  • Post chlorination processing and testing is very important to the manufacturing process of Cleanroom Gloves.
  • After chlorination the gloves are processed through multiple deionized water rinse cycles to further reduce residual contaminants. In this process, excess particulates, extractable ions, and nonvolatile residues are removed.
  • The gloves are then dried in HEPA filtered dryers prior to packaging. This part of the process is undertaken in a cleanroom environment.

 

The Enemy of Cleanrooms

The enemy of clean rooms is particulates that cause contamination and can damage the sensitive products being produced.

Industrial Grade Nitrile gloves are void of Cleanroom Glove processing preparation and can produce a high level of contamination.

Also Sterile Nitrile Gloves only address bacteria levels and do not reduce glove contamination levels. This fact is why Sterile Surgical Gloves should not be used in clean room applications.

If you’re operating a critical environment make sure to use disposable gloves manufactured for cleanrooms.

 

See our selection of Cleanroom Gloves here.

Harmony Business Supplies