You need to roll THAT dirty air compressor into my cleanroom to certify my hood??

Someone forwarded this message to me from the ASHP listserv… thought I’d post it here in case it benefits anyone else:

I need advice from those familiar with NST testing of BSC. A new technician came by my cleanroom to certify my 4 foor NuAire vertical floor hood. He couldnt figure out how to get his wagon into the room. He insisted that he needed a heavy duty oil-based compressor and Craftsman wheeled toolbox to certify the lack of leaks in the exhaust filter. A no point would I allow a greasy, rusty metal cart strolling and spewing oil fumes in my pristine cleanroom. My hoods have been certfied for over 10 years without the use of such a device. The technician insisted that this is the NST standard that they must put air pressure on one side of the filter to check for leaks and since I was so inflexible, he would not certify that criteria. Does anyone know how this test is supposed to be done and how I could get this test conducted without allowing this device to soil my cleanroom?

Answer provided by Jim Wagner:
My first assumption is that the NST certification they are referring to is actually NSF (formerly National Sanitation  Foundation now NSF International).  The concern is that he feels the certifiers compressor should not be taken into the cleanroom.  My concern is the fact that the BSC was certified for 10 years without a compressor.  Compressed air is needed to drive air through the laskin nozzle generator used to create the appropriate aerosol challenge for leak testing HEPA filters in all primary engineering controls including BSCs.  I don’t have a problem restricting the amount of material that goes into the cleanroom but a minimum amount of equipment is needed for  this task.  The equipment should be disinfected before it is taken into the cleanroom.  Also, the individual components can be taken off the certifiers cart and placed onto a cleanroom cart.  I applaud the certifier for refusing to certify the hood without the appropriate equipment but wonder why they did not find an accommodation like using a clean compressed air line and leave the compressor in the hallway.  BSCs should be certified to NSF international standard 49 by NSF accredited technicians.  I would also like to offer the attached certification matrix to direct the facilities  to the appropriate cleanroom certification criteria.

Jim Wagner
Controlled Environment Consulting
2527 Kings Mill Rd
Hellertown, PA  18055
ph.  484-852-0310
fx.  484-852-0311

Feel free to contact Jim directly with any other questions or for a copy of the certification matrix that he refers to. He’ll be happy to help! If anyone is looking for a new certifier, he is as qualified as they come.


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