Though many people think of filtered laminar flow technology in terms of the biohazard safety cabinet, horizontal and vertical laminar flow devices are actually used throughout industry. In France, for example, they are even being used for the packaging of cosmetics.
July 2013 sees the implementation of the new European Regulation on cosmetic products, which will require member states to demonstrate GMP (good manufacturing practices), at all stages of production, to ensure the safety of all cosmetic products manufactured or imported in the European Union. This includes manufacturers and their contract partners, for example packaging and distribution firms.
In view of this, a French company specialising in the packaging of perfumes, cosmetics and hygiene and food products has installed two laminar flow machines at its production site, in rooms which are isolated from the rest of the plant. The purpose is to be able to pack and fill the highly sensitive and fragile formulations devised by their clients within a sterile, uncontaminated environment, in line with the new EU standard, which they are in the final stages of implementing. The company reports that its customers’ products are increasingly complex and sophisticated, requiring a particular level of caution.
Keeping airborne contamination to a minimum is as important to the cosmetic industry as it is to pharmaceutical or food production, whether products are mass-produced or packaged in small batches. Microbial contamination is obviously a big concern, but protection against non-organic allergens and contaminants is just as important. While a biohazard safety cabinet isn’t always necessary, some form of filtered laminar air flow is a must.