In the world of science and manufacturing, you may come across the term “cleanroom”. This doesn’t mean that they want a room that is clean and tidy. Rather, they discuss a room that follows a number of very specific rules, procedures, and protocols that have to be followed by anyone operating in those rooms. This includes the correct usage of pass boxes for clean rooms, for instance. All of those rules are in place to make sure the environment remains sanitary at all times, which is vital to the success of the research or manufacturing conducted.
How Are Cleanrooms Used?
Cleanrooms are in place to make sure no contaminants can affect the research or manufacturing that is taking place. In order for a space to be classed as a cleanroom, it has to meet some very specific rules and guidelines, which includes how many particles of contaminants are allowed in every cubic meter of space. To make sure those ratios are met at all times, a variety of different items and supplies are used.
Tools and Equipment in Cleanrooms
All cleanrooms will require operatives to wear sterile gloves. This ensures no human skin can contact the research or manufacturing materials. Human skin, no matter how well it is cleaned, collects various particles and this must be avoided. Depending on the classification of the cleanroom, powder-free sterile gloves may be required.
Coveralls and surgical masks are also often required in these rooms. The mask is needed because it filters the air someone exhales, as well as the air that they breathe in. If there are some particularly hazardous materials in the area, then full masks with filtration systems may be required. The coveralls, meanwhile, are needed to ensure no clothing gets tangled up, and to make sure the environment does not become contaminated with particles from garments. Similarly, workers are likely to have to wear shoe covers as well.
Furthermore, cleanrooms must be cleaned using specific tools and products, following set procedures. Specific types of disinfectants have to be used in order for a cleanroom classification to be in place. Cleaners must generally also wear the mask, coveralls, and shoe covers, and they must also use 100% sterile cleaning tools. Otherwise, the room cannot remain sterile itself.
Last but not least, every worker has to take responsibility for their actions within the cleanroom. All procedures must be understood and followed, so that no research or product becomes contaminated. A tiny mistake can cost thousands of dollars, because it means the entire room must be disinfected, and it means that any work done previously will be lost and will have to be repeated. Hence, staff must be provided not just with all the right tools and equipment, but also with a deep understanding of the importance of sterile environments, and how to adhere to the rules and regulations that are in place. Only in that way can an organization make sure that they truly have a cleanroom.