Why it is time to reconsider cleaning practices

The hazards associated with dust in the workplace are widely known. It can negatively impact productivity, contaminate products, and pose health risks to workers through respiratory illnesses. In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on improving health and safety in the UK, leading to the adoption of safer and cleaner work environments.

Cleanrooms, commonly found in pharmaceutical facilities, already offer a high level of protection. However, there is still room for improvement.

Centralised vacuum systems provide a tailored solution for maintaining cleanliness in pharmaceutical cleanrooms. These systems effectively eliminate dust, liquid, or smoke at the source, ensuring that clean products are ready for the next stage of the manufacturing process. They can also be used for efficient general cleaning. A cleanroom with an outlet in the wall, equipped with a flap valve or shutter connected to a piped system, can extract harmful materials from the room without the risk of contamination. A hose connected to the outlet eliminates the need for mobile vacuum equipment, reducing cleaning costs and contamination risks. The hose should be flexible and durable, capable of withstanding abrasion during material transport. Considerations should also be given to chemical and heat resistance, as well as conductivity to static electricity.

Effective cleaning tools, such as suction casings and special nozzles, also play a crucial role in capturing contaminants. The design and effectiveness of these components determine the efficiency and acceptance of the entire system. A comprehensive range of specially designed products is necessary to meet the unique requirements of pharmaceutical cleanrooms. For instance, spring-loaded flap valves used in cleanrooms should meet cleanroom application standards, featuring antistatic properties and brushed stainless steel surfaces designed for hygiene. Inductive sensors can also provide automatic start/stop functionality.

System control panels are used to control the centralised vacuum system, managing vacuum producers and filter cleaning. Additional control functions can be installed as needed, including intelligent features such as motor speed control based on the number of users to reduce energy consumption.

Furthermore, incorporating high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration into the centralised vacuum system is crucial for containing and removing harmful dust particles. HEPA filters placed over vents and exhausts in workspaces can significantly reduce the spread of dust by capturing and removing it from the room.

Pharmaceutical companies, which serve healthcare providers and professionals, need to prioritise cleanliness to ensure product quality and protect workers’ health. A central vacuum system, along with piping and accessories, can help maintain a high level of cleanliness, offering efficiency, reliability, and a superior total economic solution. While centralised vacuum systems are the most effective option, mobile vacuum equipment can also be used in pharmaceutical cleanrooms, provided they meet stringent cleanliness requirements.

In addition, stainless steel industrial vacuums with cyclone-based and HEPA-13 filtration are suitable for ATEX Zone 22 settings and the high hygienic demands of the pharmaceutical industry. These vacuums have high resistance to acids, can use alkaline wash solutions, and feature a brushless motor, making them safe for environments with potentially combustible dust.

A comprehensive range of accessories and fixed equipment built to high standards can also enhance safety, hygiene, and cost-efficiency in production. Antistatic and ESD-certified accessories, such as flap valves, suction brushes, flat nozzles, hose connectors, full stainless tubing systems, joints, pre-separators, automatic shutter valves, and stainless steel filter units, offer increased safety and efficiency. These accessories meet FDA compliance and European standards, ensuring they can be used in ATEX Zone 22. Their material composition allows for metal detection and autoclavable cleaning at high pressures.

In summary, improving cleanliness and safety in pharmaceutical cleanrooms requires careful consideration. Centralised vacuum systems, along with high-quality accessories, HEPA-13 filtration, and complementary industrial vacuum cleaners, provide an effective solution for removing fine particles and harmful contaminants at the source. With these measures in place, pharmaceutical companies can maintain product quality and protect workers from respiratory illnesses.

For further information on Dustcontrol UK’s products call 01327 858001, or email sales@dustcontrol.co.uk

Dustcontrol UK Ltd., 7 Beaufort Court , Roebuck Way Knowlhill, Milton Keynes MK5 8HL