IEST seeking recommendations for improving ISO cleanroom standard



ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill.-Cleanroom users and administrators attending ESTECH 2005-the 51st annual meeting and exposition of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST; 1-4 in suburban Chicago, will be able to voice comments or recommendations for updating an international standard for cleanroom testing and monitoring.

ISO 14644-2, Specifications for testing and monitoring to prove continued compliance with ISO 14644-1, was first issued as a standard in 2002. It specifies minimum requirements for periodic testing of a cleanroom or clean zone to prove its compliance with ISO 14644-1 for the designated classification of airborne particulate cleanliness.

The public recommendation session is part of a standard ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Systematic Review, designed to ensure that a particular standard is still current and valid. IEST serves as secretariat for ISO Technical Committee 209 (ISO/TC 209), which developed the document. In the United States, the document has been adopted as ANSI/IEST/ISO 14644-2:2000.

Participants at the public session, to be held Wednesday, May 4, from 1-3 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield (Shaumburg, Ill.), will be able to provide input to a panel whose comments will be reviewed by the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO/TC 209. Each ISO standard receives a six-month balloting every five years, at which time the ISO technical committee and national standards bodies evaluate user satisfaction. Voting members then have until July 17 to decide whether the standard should be confirmed as-is, revised or withdrawn.

Cleanroom monitoring involves periodic inspection of the room construction and equipment for complete operational performance, and ensuring that the performance levels are as they were when the facility was certified. Monitoring also involves making sure processes and procedures within the cleanroom are followed completely.

Currently, ISO 14644-2 specifies that for ISO Class 5 cleanrooms or higher, no more than six months are to elapse between monitoring and demonstration of the area’s compliance with 14644-1 (airborne particulate cleanliness). For cleanrooms below Class 5 classification, the monitoring minimum is once every 12 months.

The monitoring requirements are designed to help cleanroom managers identify serious or potentially damaging discrepancies before they lead to product contamination. III