Use of real-time microbial air sampling for operational cleanroom monitoring

Eaton, T., Wardle, C. and Whyte, W. (2014) Use of real-time microbial air sampling for operational cleanroom monitoring. PDA Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, 68(2), pp. 172-184. (doi: 10.5731/pdajpst.2014.00952)

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A sampler that detects and counts ‘viable’ particles in the air of cleanrooms in real-time was studied. It was found that when the sampler was used to monitor airborne particles dispersed from a number of materials used in cleanrooms, including garments, gloves and skin, the number of ‘viable’ particles dispersed from these materials was greater than anticipated. It was concluded that a substantial proportion of these ‘viables’ were of a non-microbiological origin. When the sampler was used to monitor a non-unidirectional airflow cleanroom occupied by personnel wearing cleanroom garments, it was found that the airborne ‘viable’ concentrations were unrealistically high and variable in comparison to microbe-carrying particles (MCPs) simultaneously measured with efficient microbial air samplers. These results confirmed previously-reported ones obtained from a different real-time sampler. When the real-time sampler was used in a workstation within the same cleanroom, the recorded ‘viables’ gave results that suggest that the sampler may provide an effective airborne monitoring method but more investigations are required.<p></p> LAY ABSTRACT: The airborne concentrations measured by a real-time microbial air sampler within an operational, non-unidirectional airflow cleanroom were found to be unrealistically high due to a substantial numbers of particles of non-microbiological origin. These particles, which resulted in false-positive microbial counts, were found to be associated with a number of materials used in cleanrooms. When the sampler was used within a cleanroom workstation, the counts appeared to be more realistic and suggest that this type of real-time airborne microbial counter may provide a useful monitoring method in such workstations, but further investigations are required.

Item Type:Articles (Other)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whyte, Dr William
Authors: Eaton, T., Wardle, C., and Whyte, W.
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QR Microbiology
T Technology > T Technology (General)
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Journal Name:PDA Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology
Publisher:Parenteral Drug Association (PDA)
ISSN (Online):1948-2124

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