Allowed Cleanroom Materials – What Can Be Brought into a Cleanroom?

by Technical Air Products

cleanroom materials

Cleanrooms are designed to prevent contamination and maintain cleanliness to specification. However, every time a person enters a cleanroom environment, that is a new opportunity to introduce contaminants. Because it’s necessary to avoid any preventable threat, there are rules about which materials are allowed within the cleanroom environment and which should never be present within that field. In this blog we will discuss allowed cleanroom materials and list items that should never be brought into a cleanroom. 

Every cleanroom worker must follow strict rules about what they can and cannot bring into the cleanroom space. Considerable effort and expense goes into creating a cleanroom environment so that the work being done there – whether that is research, manufacturing, or a different project – can continue. Introducing bacteria, hair, or skin cells through carelessness jeopardizes the integrity of the work being done. 

Allowed Cleanroom Materials

Because of this concern, cleanroom workers wear gloves and hair coverings to prevent oil, skin cells, or hair from sloughing off in the space. They also cover their clothing with gowns and their footwear with shoe covers. They are allowed to bring in products such as paper and notebooks, pens, plastic containers, and tape, but these have to be of an approved cleanroom-safe variety.

In order to keep the space clean, workers also have to bring in solvents and cleaning products, including mops, buckets, wipes, containers, and vacuum cleaners. These cannot be everyday cleaning products. They have to meet industry standards for cleanrooms, and they can only be used for their specific purposes. For example, workers may be allowed to use paper towels for cleaning, but not to dry their hands. 

Cleanrooms differ, of course. Different classes of cleanrooms will have different rules or requirements for allowed cleanroom materials. Garments and garment materials that workers are required to wear will differ as well, based on the class of cleanroom.

Banned Materials

While allowed materials will vary, there are materials that can never be allowed into a cleanroom environment. These include food, beverages, gum, candy, and mints. Workers should not wear watches, jewelry, or other decorative items either. Outside contaminants can be introduced into the space via those items. Makeup and perfume or cologne are prohibited as well. 

In addition, the following are often banned cleanroom materials:

  • Cardboard
  • Wood products
  • Leather
  • Velcro
  • Grease, oil, or lubricants
  • Powders
  • Unapproved plastic

Controlling what comes into a cleanroom maintains the space so it can continue to operate without interruption. This is why it’s so important to only bring certain specified cleanroom materials into these environments. For more specifics on products that reduce air contaminants, check out our accessories page.

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