Monday, 30 March 2015

Assessing airborne contamination using a novel rapid microbiological method

The cleanliness of changing rooms used to access pharmaceutical cleanroom facilities is of considerable importance. This ensures that the changing environment and the act of putting on cleanroom suits do not generate high levels of contamination; for such contamination might be carried on personnel leaving changing areas and into the process areas. Furthermore, it is important to avoid the transfer of contamination to the outside of the garment during the gowning process. A study was undertaken to assess the levels of airborne contamination in a changing room during use. 

To assess this, a changing room was examined under different conditions: at-rest; occupied (with different numbers of personnel); and post-use. For the assessment, a novel rapid microbiological method was used. The assessment of microbiological air quality within changing rooms is conventionally undertaken using methods which rely upon microbial growth media. Due to incubation times, several days are required to ascertain the contamination level risk. This paper describes the use of an alternative real-time continuous monitoring system (the BioVigilant IMD-A® System), based on optical spectroscopy. The paper concludes that increasing the numbers of personnel going through a changing room increases the level of airborne biological activity and increases the length of time required for the room to recover. The study also demonstrates the usefulness of the rapid microbiological method.

In relation to this, Tim Sandle and colleagues have written a research paper.

The reference is:

Sandle, T., Leavy, C. and Rhodes, R. (2015) Assessing airborne contamination using a novel rapid microbiological method, European Journal of Parenteral & Pharmaceutical Sciences, 19(4): 131-142

For further details and to view a copy, please contact Tim Sandle

Posted by Tim Sandle