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Particle counters and face masks for pharmaceutical product manufacturing

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article image PortaCount particle counters

Kenelec Scientific  report that, in Australia, the recently updated ASNZ- 1715 standard for Respiratory Protective Equipment (Face Masks) requires mandatory “Fit Testing” of all employees wearing Face Masks. Now employers in all industries are required to Fit Test their employees.

One manufacturer TSI uses the PortaCount fit testing System which uses light scattering techniques and condensation particle counters technology (CPC) to detect the particles in the ambient air and the particles inside face masks while the mask is worn. Therefore the test is done while the user wears the mask verifying the correct face mask is worn by the user when an appropriate fit factor (seal) is attained by the user. The test Protocols are outlined in different standards around the World. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States leads the way and is probably the most common standard either used or adopted.

Setting up such an employee fit testing program is not as complicated as one would expect. With the new PortaCount 8038 with user interface touch screen and pass/fail results with database storage and standalone or PC connectivity modes of operation allows fit testing programs to be instantaneously adopted.

At the end of the day employee safety should be the first goal next to product quality and integrity. Fit Testing not only verifies that the user wears the correct size face mask but also trains the user on how best to fit the face mask to their face in order to get a good seal and it’s this good seal which prevents the user from breathing in harmful pharmaceutical products.

*Cytotoxic Drug Products are developed to target cancer cells which they destroy on contact unfortunately they destroy non cancer cells.

*Nano Particles have been found to be extremely dangers to the respiratory system when inhaled they become embedded in lung tissue causing deterioration of the lung tissue and leading to respiratory illness.

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