QUESTION: What are the most common sources of contamination in a cleanroom?

ANSWER: Everything that enters the cleanroom—including air, equipment, chemicals and especially personnel.

Controlling contamination in a cleanroom is a never-ending task. Everything, from the air that enters the room to the walls, ceiling and floor can produce contamination. 

The exact sources of contamination will depend on the facility and the processes that happen in the room. Paint on equipment can flake. Chemicals used for production can spill. Anything that exists in or enters the room can cause contamination. Generally speaking, contamination usually fits into four categories:

  1. Particulate
  2. Chemical
  3. Gaseous
  4. Microbial / Microbiological

But a universal source of contamination—especially particulates—is people. It’s estimated that up to 80% of contamination is caused by the people working in cleanrooms. Even while sitting, a person can shed between 100,000 to 1,000,000 skin particles every minute! 

And the human-borne contamination doesn’t stop at particulates. For example, if a technician is a smoker, they will have residual smoke particles in their lungs that will be released while they’re working. If an operator enjoys a meal before their shift, residue of the food and drink will still be in their saliva to be spread while breathing and talking.

That’s why we at FG Clean Wipes take cleaning so seriously—it always needs to be done and be done correctly. If you need better tools to control contamination in your cleanroom, check out our wide selection of polyester knit wipes. They feature some of the highest levels of cleanliness available.