How to Avoid Contaminant Hazards in Your Cleanroom

by Kevin Cooper
How to Avoid Contaminant Hazards in Your Cleanroom

While cleanrooms are said to be up to ten times more sterile than operating rooms, there’s no such thing as a completely contaminant-free cleanroom as long as there are people in it. When contaminants enter, they are considered hazards in this clean environment. Here are some common sources for hazards found in cleanrooms.

Incorrect Donning Procedures

Proper training and adherence to donning procedures should eliminate most contaminants, but it is possible to not notice a sleeve or leg of the coverall briefly touching the floor upon donning, which can result in the transfer of contaminants from the donning area to the cleanroom interior.

Additionally, it is easy to have the mask on incorrectly or to miss covering part of the hair if it is long. These are common mistakes.

Other Employee-Generated Hazards

Some contaminants in the cleanroom environment can be traced back to employees. Some are unavoidable, such as dead skin cells, but some are the result of flaking lotion, chipping fingernail polish and dislodging clothing fibers. Bringing in cell phones without a sterile bag or using walkie talkies can also be hazards. These things can all be avoided with proper preparation and adherence to protocol.

Cleanroom Structural Deficits

While you put careful prep into creating your cleanroom to specs, the effort has to continue after the cleanroom is in operation. Cleaning procedures need to be followed to ensure contaminants are regularly dealt with and deep cleaning happens systematically.

The HEPA filters in your HVAC system need regular inspection and replacing. The outlets need to be sealed around the outside of the plate and plugs added to the outlets to create a complete seal from any sort of exposure.

Adhesive floor mats, also known as tacky mats, are great at picking up particulates when employees pass through. However, incorrect installation or upkeep can result in a tripping hazard. Also, incorrect disposal can release particulates into the clean environment. Use a PVC adhesive mat base to ensure your sticky mats are installed properly.

Special considerations for electrostatic discharge (ESD) cleanrooms include designing flooring with ESD grounding. Additionally, furniture, wipers, gloves and shoe covers all need to be ESD or grounded. Skid-free ESD shoe covers can add an extra layer of protection against accidents.

Get the Right Supplies in Bulk

Make sure your employees are using the right cleanroom supplies to reduce errors and to guard against hazards. With over ten factories at Total Source Manufacturing, we can ship by container or pallet the cleanroom supplies needed to keep your operation running smoothly.

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