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Business & Regulation Facilities, Standards & Regulation

Fumigation: Choose Your Weapon!

Previously in The Medicine Maker, I recognized the challenges of selecting the right fumigant for microbiological safety cabinets, high containment level areas, and cleanrooms (1). I noted my relief that it was no longer my job to choose a new fumigation system (I’m now based on the vendor side), but for the purpose of this article, I am going to put myself back into the shoes of a site fumigation lead and think about how I would approach the task of replacing an existing system.

From a formaldehyde user’s perspective, at the time of writing, we are still waiting for the Biocidal Products Committee to decide whether they will approve or reject its use in the EU Biocidal Product Regulation (EU-BPR) usage classification PT2 category. A decision on formaldehyde usage was originally expected in the summer of 2016 (2), but there is still no news. The British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) document, “Biological agents - The principles, design and operation of Containment Level (CL) 4 facilities” (3), has a whole appendix related to fumigation advice. At the very end of the appendix, it quotes, “Further guidance on the use of alternatives to formaldehyde as a fumigant is currently in preparation and will be available from the HSE website.” The HSE has released nothing yet, so formaldehyde is still the recommended fumigant – backed up by a study from the HSE’s Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) (4).

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About the Author

Andrew Ramage

Andrew Ramage is Microbiology Product Specialist, at Cherwell Laboratories, Bicester, UK.

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