Friday 17 July 2020

Impact of novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in cleanroom operations

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is causing problems globally. This includes cleanroom users. The virus can be passed in the air and it survives on surfaces for prolonged periods of time. While existing protective measures should minimise air risks (such as HEPA filters, air change rates, wearing masks and gloves) the surface risks, due to prolonged survival times, require careful selection of appropriate agents (primarily either alcoholic products at 61 to 71% concentration or hydrogen peroxide at 0.5% or higher).

In relation to this, Tim Sandle has written an article:

Sandle, T. (2020) Impact of novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2  in cleanroom operations, Clean Air and Containment Review, Issue 42, 8-11

In the context of the SARS-CoV-2  novel coronavirus pandemic there are concerns for cleanroom operators and cleanroom operations. This article has considered the risks from air as a vector of transmission and from surfaces (as with surface to person transfer). While the risks from air appear lower, based on current cleanroom design factors,  the risks from surfaces are more problematic. SARS-CoV-2 may be shed into the environment and be transferred from environmental surfaces (either fixed within the cleanroom or from items transferred in) to hands of  operators.

Once contaminated from  the environment, hands can then initiate self-inoculation of the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes or mouth. Contamination can also carry forward to new gloves if glove changes are not carried out correctly. Consequently, infection prevention and control measures need to be adhered to in relation to hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, and surface disinfection, in order to minimise self-contamination and to protect against inoculation of mucosal surfaces and the respiratory tract.

For further details, please contact Tim Sandle.

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

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