The pharmaceutical industry plays one of the most crucial roles in the global healthcare landscape, producing life-saving medications and innovative treatments. However, the production of pharmaceutical drugs with both API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) and HPAPI (Highly Potent Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients), can be a hazard to the operators’ health. In fact, inhalation of pharma dust particles can occur at every stage of the production process (handling, processing, and manufacturing powders) with serious implications for human health.
That’s why it’s so important to understand the risks. Powders and dust in the pharmaceutical industry primarily result from the handling and processing of raw materials during the manufacturing process – (highly potent) active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs & HPAPIs), like steroids, hormones, or narcotics and other substances. These particles can pose a range of risks to operators, including the below.
Respiratory and other Health Concerns
Inhalation exposure for pharma operators (to powders and dust) can lead to adverse side effects like skin reactions or respiratory illness, ranging from irritation and allergies to more severe conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Long-term exposure to certain substances may even contribute to more serious respiratory disorders.
Explosion and Fire Hazards
Certain pharmaceutical powders are combustible, posing a risk of explosions or fires if all features of the explosion pentagon are there (ignition, confinement of dust cloud, oxygen in the air, combustible dust, dispersion of dust particles). Explosive dusts in the pharmaceutical industry are mainly fine, which makes them highly susceptible to ignition, and appropriate measures must be taken to prevent such incidents. Choosing certified industrial vacuum solutions is always the best way to prevent this problem and all related consequences.
Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs)
Many pharmaceutical compounds have established Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) set by regulatory institutions to protect workers. Exceeding these limits can have severe health consequences, emphasizing the need for robust containment measures and monitoring systems.
To ensure the safety of operators and maintain the integrity of pharmaceutical products, companies must implement comprehensive risk management strategies while providing training, education, and appropriate PPE. Continuous monitoring of air quality, as well as regular testing for the presence of hazardous substances, is crucial. Establishing routine inspections and maintenance schedules for equipment helps ensure their effectiveness in controlling dust and powder exposure.
But above all else, one of the strongest actions is to provide your production with the right equipment to get easily and safely rid of the problem directly from the source at every step of the production line. Delfin Industrial provides a wide range of industrial vacuum solutions that meets the most specific industry requirements and standards. Thanks to the highest quality filtration (individually tested H14/HEPA absolute filters), filtration efficiency (cyclonic systems with up to 98% filtration efficiency), and containment systems (HPAPI/OEB3-5), any contact between the operator and the powder or dust will be completely avoided, thus guaranteeing their protection and health. All our mobile and stationary solutions can integrate with the production process, ranging from the logistics and raw material storage areas to pre-production and production areas, cleanrooms, and packaging lines. The benefits of a professional industrial vacuum solution are not limited to safeguarding operators’ health or to guarantee the quality of the finish product. In fact, they prevent downtime, thus increasing productivity.
In conclusion, the pharmaceutical sector must proactively address the risks associated with powders and dust to safeguard the health and well-being of its operators and maintain high standards of product quality. By investing in the right equipment, like specific industrial vacuum solutions, dust collectors or pneumatic conveyors, pharmaceutical companies can create a safer working environment and contribute to the overall success and sustainability of the industry.
Contact us today to find out the best product on the Delfin Industrial Pharma line.