Containment Systems – A Design Guide. Book review

With the fall season on the horizon, I thought it would be an appropriate time of year to provide several book reviews over the next couple of weeks. During the course of business at Affygility Solutions, I frequently get asked if there are any good books out on the market on potent compound containment or containment strategies. One book that I found fairly useful is Containment Systems – A Design Guide by N. Hirst, M. Brocklebank, and M. Ryder (2002). It is published by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) organization which is based out of the UK so it does have sort of a UK slant in its tone and reference to regulatory requirements by the Health and Safety Executive. However, the authors do a good job of devising a consistent approach to describing different containment strategy equipment – ranging from Strategy 1: Controlled general ventilation to Strategy 5: Robotic Handling Systems. After the very introductory material in Chapter 1, Chapter 2: Containment Legislation covers the relevant regulations. This chapter does a decent job of covering the relevant UK regulations, but is fairly basic in regards to United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. In addition, it completely leaves out any reference to the General Duty Clause and OSHA’s Enforcement Policy for Respiratory Hazards Not Covered by OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits. Of course, that policy wasn’t issued till January of 2003 so the authors do have a valid reason. Chapter 3: Occupational Hygiene Aspects of Containment would be sufficient for a new industrial hygienist entering the pharmaceutical industry, but after any kind of experience in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry this chapter is a “skim only” chapter. Chapters 4 and 5 same thing, great for industry beginners, but skim only for more experienced personnel. Now, in Chapter 6: Development of a Containment Strategy, the information starts getting useful with discussions on hazard groups (a.k.a. control banding), dustiness potential, and quantity handled. The diagrams in this chapter are simple and easy to understand and cover the issues to consider with each type of containment strategy. These issues include operational access, personal protective equipment, maintenance and cleaning, and training. Chapter 7: Containment Equipment Types is the most useful chapter in the book as far as idea creation goes and describes the basic operating principles of everything from local exhaust hoods, horizontal laminar flow booths, down flow booths, split butterfly valves, hard and flexible glove boxes, rapid transfer ports (RTP) and more. It also describes a few basic “bag tricks” that could be useful in reducing airborne concentrations of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). The remaining chapters in the book: 8, 9, and 10 are o.k. but nothing real innovative.

In conclusion, the book is a short read (only 171 pages of actual reading text) and if you only owned it for Chapters 6 and 7 it would be worth the purchase $89 purchase price. The diagrams and graphs in the book are also quite useful for understanding basic potent compound containment principles.


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About Dean Calhoun

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Dean is the President and CEO of Affygility Solutions. Affygility Solutions provides environmental, health and safety software, potent compound safety, industrial hygiene, containment validation services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industry. "Dean's Google+ Profile"

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