Air Monitoring Equipment

Microbial Air Samplers: Appropriateness of Device

Air sampling equipment is designed with a specific purpose in mind, but many purchasers do not realize that the differences between different air samplers can be major factors in the appropriate testing and control of their environments. Simply put, some air monitoring equipment are not fit for operation in certain environments, and using the wrong device could end up creating negative consequences for the environment that surrounds it. For this reason, it is critical to understand the differences between devices.

Device Desirability
Some device traits make specific pieces of air monitoring equipment undesirable in a cleanroom, or lab environment. Problems such as material shedding by the device, sample volumes exhausted at test locations, unfiltered exhaust, and airflow disruption can arise when using the wrong air sampling equipment. Additionally, cumbersome or large devices are not easily placed or located for the sake of testing.

Ideal Design
The right air sampling design skips the major design problems of lesser units. Look for HEPA filtered exhausts, the exhaust of particles outside of critical zones, a device that is easily sterilized or sanitized, and something with a small footprint and low profile that’s easy to place. Also desirable: Remote operation controls that make it easier to manage your sampling protocols from a location, outside, or away from the critical environment being tested.

Considerations
When considering a new piece of air sampling equipment, you should think about the following: Type and size of microbial particles being sampled, sensitivity of those microbial organisms to the testing parameters, concentration of those microbial particles, and the ability to detect high or low levels of microbial contamination. Also to be considered: Appropriate culture media for detection of the desired microbes being collected, and the time and duration of sampling.
The wrong air sampling devices can compromise everything you do. But, choosing the right air sampler helps you keep your critical environments in an appropriate state of control, by ensuring that the device itself does not negatively impact your environnment, while the samples and data you collect are accurate.

For more information about our Air Sampling products please visit www.emtekair.com.

Air Monitoring Equipment: Helpful Tips

Air monitoring is a critical component of many Quality Control systems Air monitoring equipment ensures that a work environment is safe for the people working in it, and helps prevent against the spread of contaminates. There are a few different things to consider when implementing an air sampling protocol if you’re looking to guarantee the best possible results.

Understand Environmental Contaminants
Different environments are prone to different types of contaminations, and have different monitoring requirements. In Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Hospital environments, the air in the clean room environments must be tested for both non-viable particulates (e.g. Dusts, skin flakes, aerosols, , pollen, etc.), as well as viable particulates (e.g., bacteria and mold). Different equipment is required for testing for these two different contaminants, which includes unique sampling equipment for collection and detection. It’s critical that you identify your specific needs before beginning an air sampling plan. Our V100 Controller with our R2S , RAS , or RCG sampling heads , and our P100 air samplers , for example, are designed for the capture of microbial particulates.

Picking a Volume and Rate
Every environment demands its own standard of testing. In some cases, a quick, small sample size is all you need to get an idea of the air quality. In others, you may need a longer sample collection period with a larger total volume, allowing you to gather more particulates and make more inferences about the work environment around the sampler. Different samplers offer different potential total capture volumes (10 cubic feet, cubic meter, etc.) and sample collection rates (e.g., 28.3, 50, or 100 LPM) – -always cross-reference these sampling parameters with your sampling requirements.

The Interface
Much like any other piece of high technology, the data collected from the air sampling equipment is most accurate when the operators using it are appropriately trained.. Spending some extra time or money to purchase a sampler that has an easy-to-use interface often pays big dividends in the end, as it limits the learning curve for new employees and gives you results that you can count on as accurate. User error is a consideration in any field, but user error (e.g., false positives and/or false negatives) with air sampling can have dire consequences (e.g., impact lot release, cause product loses, etc.),.

Overall, choosing air monitoring equipment demands a strong understanding of the fundamentals and a clear vision of your exact needs. Whatever it is that you’re hoping to get out of your equipment will depend on the sampling patterns you wish to follow, and there is sure to be a sampler that falls directly within those parameters. For more information about microbial air samplers please visit www.emtekair.com.