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New IEST Recommended Practices Provides Guidance on Vacuum System Cleanroom Compatibility to Reduce Risk
SCHAUMBURG, IL (September 27, 2017) — The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST), has published IEST-RP-CC044.1: Vacuum Cleaning Systems for Use in Cleanrooms and Other Controlled Environments, providing the first unbiased guidance describing the elements, techniques, and criteria necessary to qualify a vacuum cleaner as being truly cleanroom compatible. IEST, the leading contamination control authority and Secretariat to ISO/TC 209, is providing the newly developed guidance to help prevent events that can lead to expensive cleanroom shutdowns and requalification.
IEST Recommended Practice (RP) CC044.1 serves as an invaluable resource to help avoid uninformed decisions that put products, processes, and personnel at risk:
- Why “HEPA” exhaust filtration does not guarantee cleanroom compatibility
- The types of maintenance necessary to preserve performance and prevent contamination and hazards
- How routine testing should be used to avoid leaks that generate particles
- Which design and operating principles should be considered overall and for your applications
- Choosing wisely–improving your understanding of manufacturer specifications and sales literature
Vacuum cleaning is an integral part of the general contamination control program in nearly all cleanrooms. The general usage of vacuum cleaners for household and commercial tasks has led to a misunderstanding of the essential design and construction elements necessary for true cleanroom compatibility. Vacuum cleaners without the elements necessary for cleanroom operation will undoubtedly emit large quantities of airborne particles that create risk to operations. In addition, the misconception that compatibility is not important for vacuum cleaning when production is idle can create contamination that requires extensive final cleaning procedures. Worst case scenarios will lead to particle count results that extend requalification of the cleanroom before operations can resume.
There are many specifications and standards that pertain to various aspects of general vacuum cleaner design and construction, but none pertain to the specific needs required by the cleanroom. IEST experts have noted a lack of information can lead to purchasing decisions based solely on price, with inevitable disaster.
Roger Diener, Chair of the IEST Working Group that developed RP-CC044.1, encourages both users and suppliers to make use of the new document. “Specifiers, approvers, and purchasers using this document will be better able to make informed decisions when reading manufacturer specification and sales literature,” Diener noted. “Manufacturers that design and build vacuum cleaners for use in cleanrooms should be able to point to this document to reinforce their own sales specifications to assure potential customers that their products comply with IEST Recommended Practices for the cleanroom industry.”
Cleanroom vacuum cleaners should be routinely tested for leaks that will eject and spread particles throughout the cleanroom. IEST-RP-CC044.1 features information on testing including references to other IEST Recommended Practices that provide specific cleaning methods and support.
IEST-RP-CC044.1 is available for immediate download through the IEST Bookstore at http://www.iest.org. Print versions are also available for your contamination control library. This document is also included in the world’s leading resource for cleanrooms—the IEST Contamination Control Handbook.
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Founded in 1953, IEST is a multidisciplinary, international society with members who are internationally recognized for their contributions to the environmental sciences in the areas of contamination control/cleanrooms, environmental testing, or nanotechnology facilities. Our 501(c)(3) not-for-profit technical society is an ANSI-accredited standards-developing organization; Secretariat of ISO/TC 209 Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments; Administrator of the ANSI-accredited US TAG to ISO/TC 209; and a founding member of the ANSI-accredited US TAG to ISO/TC 229 Nanotechnologies.
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