By now, regular readers of this magazine have, I’m sure, noticed the special column from the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) now appearing in each issue of the publication. We are particularly pleased to have this regular contribution from such an important industry association whose mission and objectives so closely mirror our own. Like CleanRooms magazine, the IEST-and at the international level, the International Confederation of Contamination Control Societies (ICCCS)-is dedicated to advancing the science and application of contamination-control technology across multiple, critical industries. It’s a large and rapidly growing task.
In fact, it’s such a large and rapidly growing task that a great many people don’t even recognize the full scope of what it now encompasses. Contamination-control technology no longer applies only to the requirements of cleanrooms or specialized manufacturing environments; though clearly (and perhaps ironically) the names of the two organizations involved with the technology and the industry the longest point to a time when this was indeed the case.
The truth is that it has been largely through the efforts of organizations like the IEST that what we now know today as the science of contamination control evolved. Today, contamination-control technology is an integral part of every aspect of the production process including process and packaging equipment design; material handling and filtration systems; protective barrier/isolation and minienvironment systems; gas, water and process-chemical distribution systems; personnel procedures and protocols; cleaning and disinfection systems; product quality testing, monitoring, reporting and validation; as well as the designing, building, outfitting, maintenance and certification of manufacturing facilities where the science first found a home.
The science of contamination control is so important to the advancement of so many industries that it cannot help but grow even more in scope. But to do this efficiently, those with the contamination-control expertise must reach out to those just recognizing their need for it. Cleanroom designers and builders must reach out to barrier/isolation system and minienvironment engineers to maximize the benefits of each supplier’s expertise to end users. Likewise, process-tool designers and package-equipment makers must design existing contamination-control protocols and standards into their equipment. In other words, people from multiple disciplines and industries must get together and share their contamination-control expertise.
And, that brings us full circle to the mission of the IEST and of CleanRooms magazine, and the reason we are so pleased to have a column from the IEST in our publication. I hope it also encourages all of you to reach out to your co-workers, and more importantly to other professionals beyond your immediate worksphere, and advise them of the important organizations serving and advancing the science and technology of contamination control. Encourage them to subscribe to CleanRooms magazine and to join the IEST. Working, learning and educating together, we can all be much more useful to our science, our professions and our industries.