A cleanroom provides a controlled environment where specific products used in pharmaceutical, electronics, biopharmaceutical and other critical manufacturing are produced. It doesn’t allow to have more than 100 particles of 0.5 microns or larger as against the normal office building where 1,000,000 such particles are allowed. Thus, it is but obvious that strict protocols need to be followed to maintain this level of cleanliness.
Here are some of the mistakes that need to be avoided to maintain the prescribed cleanliness levels in such controlled environments.
- The details about the maintenance and cleaning procedures should be documented after discussion with the contractor. Many people fail to do this. Proper documentation will ensure that a proper cleaning method is followed irrespective of the person wiping the cleanroom getting changed.
- There are specific garment requirements for any person entering the room and the cleaner needs to abide by it, but this is one thing that many cleaners ignore. Under no circumstances should a cleaner enter the room with those requirements unfulfilled. Under standard protocols, cleaners need to wear gloves, head covers, face masks etc. In some facilities, even jump suits are required. This is to ensure that the cleaner’s body regenerative processes like skin flakes, hair, perspiration etc. do not contaminate the environment.
- The materials required for cleaning like wipes should be procured from clean room wipes manufacturers. Procuring from any local vendor might turn out to be a grave mistake. This will ensure that the materials used for cleaning are of high and approved standards. The vendors who specialise in cleaning such controlled environments normally have a list of cleanroom wipes suppliers and of other commodities used. You can choose the one that suits your requirements and budget.
- The physical behaviour of the person in the cleanroom is again very important as humans are a major source of contamination. This is another aspect that is often ignore. Even if a person is quietly standing in a room it can produce up to 100,000 particles of 0.3 microns or larger. Thus, they need to be trained on hygiene as well as on how to limit their motions so as to cause minimal damage.
- Another mistake that cleaners should avoid committing is entering the cleanroom with cosmetics. Cosmetics used by the persons entering the cleanroom are another big reason for contamination. This is because cosmetics contain chemicals that can create damaging particles. Even a simple cologne that a person normally wears in the morning can lead to fogging of mirror present in a sophisticated space telescope. Hence, care should be taken to not allow any type of cosmetics.
- In biotech cleanrooms, often highly toxic materials are handled. This requires a high level of expertise and the vendor needs to assure that the products and persons used in cleaning should not contaminate either themselves or the environment.
- The tools used in the cleanroom should not be placed anywhere in the room except on cleanroom wiper. This wiper should be approved for the class of cleanroom that is being cleaned.
Cleanrooms are meant to provide a controlled clean environment. All precautions should be taken so that it does not compromise on the cleaning procedure.