What is Containment?

Containment is the formation of a barrier between the product/process and the personal operating environment during manufacturing process.

Containment systems are primarily devices for employers to conform to health and safety regulation for their employees. For this benefit containment solutions are utilised to protect the operator/environment from hazardous products during manufacturing processes. Over the last decade the increase in potency of product has driven the requirements for even more advanced containment solutions.

Containment application takes the form of isolating the product and process rather than the operator thus negating the need for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). As a secondary benefit the reality of containment equipment is the prevention of cross contamination, reduced need for cleaning and the creation of a more ergonomic and efficient working environment complying to FDA regulation and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) design.

The types of containment equipment undertaken vary greatly depending upon the process application, process equipment involved, product toxicity, and importantly the level of protection required. Typical solutions range from Isolators, Extraction Booths to Split Butterfly Valves such as the ChargePoint®.

Measuring Containment

The level of containment protection required is quantified as an OEL (Operator Exposure Level). Measuring the performance of equipment in terms of these levels has been formalised by ISPE (Institute of Pharmaceutical Engineering), having published a guideline entitled ‘The ISPE Good Practice Guide: Assessing the Particulate Containment Performance of Pharmaceutical Equipment’.

This was produced by the SMEPAC Committee to provide a standard measure of containment effectiveness during solids processing in units of micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³). For example a standard ChargePoint® has the containment capability of <10µg/m³.

The containment capability of ChargePoint® split butterfly valves is certified in line with these SMEPAC guidelines giving our customers validated performance and peace of mind.

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