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The Cleanroom’s Dirty Little Secret

Most of the time, the “protection” part of hand protection is straightforward. Gloves are designed specifically to protect the wearer’s hands from some type of injury — cuts, spills, burns, or even repetitive use injuries that only manifest over time. The challenge is as straightforward as finding the right glove for the job — balancing comfort, performance, and protection.

In cleanroom environments, however, it isn’t so simple. These are delicate ecosystems dedicated to research and manufacturing that are sensitive to even minute impurities, and 80 percent of those impurities originate from people.1 Gloves and other personal protective equipment must limit the introduction of any particulates into the cleanroom, which means these special-use gloves are designed to protect the products as much as the wearer. Consider the potential cost of a contaminated pharmaceutical product; millions of dollars could be conservative.

CleanOperations VALUTEKWith that in mind, let’s take a closer look at hand protection for cleanrooms from both perspectives — providing protection for the wearer and for the product — and how glove technologies and design practices are addressing both needs.

Click here to read full article 

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Interview With ETH Professor Christofer Hierold About Nanotechnology

Prof. Hierold - Photo: Philippe Neidhart/ETH Zurich

Photo: Philippe Neidhart/ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich Professor Christofer Hierold researches and works with nanotechnology.  ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, conducted an interview with Professor Heirold to discuss the structures, materials and applications of nanotechnology.  Professor Heirold talks about his fascination with nanotechnology, how their specific work in their cleanroom would be hazardous if they did not take proper steps to protect themselves with masks, gloves, etc., and how technology has almost unlimited possibilities.  Click here to read the full interview.

Nanotechnology Degree Programs are Available Due to More and More Companies Utilizing Nanotechnology for Products

More and more universities around the world are starting to offer a degree in nanotechnology.  The increase in companies that utilize nanotechnology to create products, such as pharmaceutical or electronic companies, has brought about awareness of the need for more nanotechnology educational programs.  Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, Indiana has decided to create a nanotechnology program for students.  Ivy Tech is developing the two year program to prepare students for any technical career that utilizes nanotechnology, such as cleanroom equipment operators or technicians. Click here to read the full article about South Bends developing nanotechnology program.

Pegasus Cleanroom Services E-news

Pegasus Cleanroom Services puts out an informative e-news letter that you can sign up for by clicking here.  This week’s e-news features information on Indoor Environmental Quality, how to keep your business data center running at the most efficient level, and more.  A special offer for 20% off our VTSNTR-99 non woven wiper is also included on this E-news letter.  Click here to view E-news, and don’t forget to sign up for Pegasus Cleanroom Services E-news!

Article notes latex prices have increased 82% over the previous year.

Skyrocketing global prices of latex has influenced one of the world’s leading latex exporting countries to force its domestic customers to look elsewhere.  Selling latex to foreign markets provides larger orders with commitment to buy from these companies despite the drastic annual increase in price.  Click here to read the article.

While the article is interesting, the recent buying behaviors of our clients show this strategy may not work very well. Our clients are buying more synthetic gloves now than ever before. Our clients say the reasons for the change include the potential allergic reactions involved with using latex products along with the rapidly rising cost of latex.  At Valutek, we continue to educate and recommend that our clients purchase synthetic gloves made from Nitrile or PVC.

Rising Latex Prices Impacting Other Industries

The rising costs of raw latex materials is impacting more than just latex glove customers. See how these rising costs are impacting the price customers are paying in another industry. Click here to read more.

In our industry, rising cost is one of many reasons we recomend that our customers use latex alternatives such as Nitrile or PVC.

Want a Live Peek Inside one of NASA’s Cleanrooms?

Here in the Valutek office, we’ve made a fascinating discovery – a live feed from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where technicians are working on the next Mars rover, dubbed “Curiosity.”

Today, around noon, about 12 technicians crowded around the vehicle, taking photos, discussing important things (we assume, maybe they were making lunch plans) and inspecting parts. They were of course sporting cleanroom apparel, including coveralls, hoods, booties and face masks.

The Web site that features the live feed explains, “Technicians assembling and testing the Mars Science Laboratory, aka Curiosity, are covered head-to-toe in “bunny suits.” These white smocks, booties and facemasks help protect against Earthly contaminants hitching a ride to Mars.” The site also features videos explaining how the rover is made, how it navigates and other interesting facts about their work.

The site was presumably designed for school children, to stimulate their interest in space and science, but we think it’s pretty cool, too! Have a look at the live feed of the NASA cleanroom for yourself by clicking here.

With our own “Curiosity” now piqued, we searched for other controlled environments willing to let anyone with an Internet connection watch their technicians work. And we came across the University of Alberta’s Nano Fab.

This site really lets your inner voyeur have fun by providing a floor plan of their cleanroom, including the Gowning and Inspection rooms, and Sputtering and Bonding areas. Simply click on your room of choice, and viola! We caught a glimpse of some operators changing into their cleanroom apparel, and even using proper gowning techniques. Watch the live feed from the University of Alberta’s NanoFab by clicking here.

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