Much still to be done
The contamination control industry has accomplished much over the last few decades, and there is much to take pride in. Certainly among these accomplishments is the development and introduction of a host of new technology solutions and contamination control products for a number of user industries. However, now is not the time for the industry to rest on its laurels.
One of the greatest contributions that the contamination control profession has made to the industries it serves is education and training. Without having first educated the early-user communities (nuclear, microelectronics, aerospace, pharmaceuticals) regarding the consequences of poor contamination control practices, procedures and protocols, and the great benefits available through the implementation of new tools and systems, none of the industries that now embrace the technology would have seen how valuable it is. Similarly today, there are many other professions that are still largely unaware of the capabilities and advantages offered by a thorough understanding of the proper implementation of contamination control technology and practices.
One such major opportunity exists in the community of compounding pharmacists. Though some pharmacists are already well underway with the process of fully meeting new contamination control requirements in their practices, many others are resistant, largely due to a lack of knowledge about already-existing solutions or unrealistic fears of insurmountable up-front cost obstacles. Both groups can benefit from the experience and knowledge of contamination control professionals. No technology or product will be of use to this community if they do not first understand the impact and criticality of efficient contamination control itself.
Similarly, hospital hygiene across the board entails reaching an entirely new universe of healthcare professionals. Not one single death from hospital-acquired infection should be acceptable, let alone the thousands that occur annually in the U.S. alone. Once again, education is the first step toward driving new initiatives and implementations of contamination control science in an environment critical to us all.
Clearly, the food industry must also become better educated in contamination control and what is truly required to achieve complete and reliable results. Quality control is not contamination control. Cleaning and sanitation practices are not contamination control. It’s time for the food industry to step out of the past and into the real world of modern contamination control science and technology.
Overall, our industry must continue to reach out to offer education, training and support to forward-thinking advocates and early-adopters of contamination control science-on both the industry and regulatory sides.
John Haystead, Editor-in-Chief