Most of the time, the “protection” part of hand protection is straightforward. Gloves are designed specifically to protect the wearer’s hands from some type of injury — cuts, spills, burns, or even repetitive use injuries that only manifest over time. The challenge is as straightforward as finding the right glove for the job — balancing comfort, performance, and protection.
In cleanroom environments, however, it isn’t so simple. These are delicate ecosystems dedicated to research and manufacturing that are sensitive to even minute impurities, and 80 percent of those impurities originate from people.1 Gloves and other personal protective equipment must limit the introduction of any particulates into the cleanroom, which means these special-use gloves are designed to protect the products as much as the wearer. Consider the potential cost of a contaminated pharmaceutical product; millions of dollars could be conservative.
Is your glove packaged in a dispenser box? Is it labeled 'examination glove' ?
If so, it is not suitable for a critical environment. Why? Boxed exam gloves are designed to protect the operator. Cleanroom Gloves are engineered to both protect the operator and your critical product.
Pre- Wetted Wiper Pail
The Valutek resealable pail guarantees that your last pre-wetted wipe will be as consistently saturated as the first. Our refillable pail containers are environmentally friendly, minimizing solvent evaporation, and reducing operator solvent exposure
1. Procurement, storage and document control of flammable solvents is not a walk in the park. Chemical purchasing, storage, blending, dispensing, usage, and disposal require internal resources. Updated MSDS documentation must be keep on-site.
1. Cleanroom Compatibility: not all shoe covers are designed to be worn with a boot cover in a controlled environment. Construction materials determine if the shoe cover will help to reduce or increase contamination in your cleanroom. Uncoated spunbound polypropylene shoe cover is well suited for industrial and hospital settings, however in a cleanroom, it will release fibers. Average operators walk from 700 to 1,000 steps around their work stations. Can you imagine operators wearing cleanroom shoe covers that release particles in every step? The HEPA pre-filters will be choked with polypropylene fiber.
2. Traction and Slip Resistance: The only way to prevent slips and falls is to make sure that shoe covers are well fitted, and provides as much traction and slip resistance as possible. Look for a substrate material with a high co-efficient of friction. The higher the number, the more “anti-slip” the shoe cover will be.
3. Design and Comfort: Is the sole durable? Waterproof? Abrasion resistant? The wrong design can actually increase the risk of costly operator accidents.
To determine the most appropriate Cleanroom Wipers for a specific task, consider the five C’s; Cost, Capacity, Cleanliness, Chemical Compatibility, & Construction.
Cost: How much is each individual wiper? Is the wiper the full published size? Be cautious of wipers that refer to their sizing as nominal. Make your costing comparison on actual wiper size. Compare individual wiper cost per surface area to calculate the total cost per swipe. A ¼ folded cleanroom wiper has 8 unique swipes.
Capacity: How much liquid can the wiper hold? Higher sorbent capacity means that the wiper can hold more cleaning chemistry. Substrates such as non-woven poly / cellulose and cotton are inherently absorbent in their fiber structures. Woven knits such as polyester and nylon, the chemistry is trapped in the crevices of the fibers. This is adsorbent.
If you have ever found yourself preparing to place a critical environment consumable order, it is likely you have wondered what's the most important cleanroom disposable? What consumable should I be most concerned with? Should it be my garment, glove, or wiper selection?
The direct answer: They are all equally important! The reason they are all so important is because your cleanroom consumables work together as a system; they are all interlinked. Apparel, gloves, and wipers all have the potential to make direct contact with your critical process and/or product. Therefore, if you have one weak link your whole system might breakdown. In order to understand how all of your cleanroom consumables work together, imagine you have the following items:
Nitrile gloves have been steadily growing in popularity in controlled environments for the last decade. Compared to Latex, nitrile is lower in particles, ionic extractables and non-volatile residues (NVR). Nitrile also has "memory" properties that enable the material to adapt to the hand for a more custom fit, reducing hand fatigue. Nitrile is three times more puncture-resistant than latex, and also provides excellent protection against both mild acid & solvents. With its static-dissipative properties, nitrile is ideal for electronic industries where ESD safety is of paramount importance.
To understand controlled environment nitrile gloves and the difference in this material, let's consider the question, how are cleanroom nitrile gloves made?
When determining the quality of your cleanroom gloves, it is important to take glove odor and color into account.
Odor:Typical powder-free cleanroom latex gloves will be an off-white color. If you take one of these gloves and snap it several times, then smell the glove, you might smell a rather putrid odor. This odor is the residual chlorine that gets trapped in the molecular structure of the latex that continues to outgas, or release, when the glove is warm. In other words, latex gloves have odor because there are chlorine impurities that get trapped in the molecular structure.
As a large format digital printer operator, you know exactly how important it is to take care of your inkjet heads. If the inkjet heads get contaminated by the loose fibers from your cleaning rags, your output quality will suffer. Ultimately, improper cleaning can require your inkjet heads to be factory serviced. That is why many original equipment manufacturers insist that you use only “lint-free” polyester cleanroom wipers while your unit is under the original equipment warranty. Using an industrial “shop towel” can cause permanent damage to your expensive LFDP inkjet heads. To ensure the maximum life of your inkjet heads, get educated on the importance of using the appropriate wipers.