ISO cleanrooms biocontamination documents are reconfirmed

Published: 30-Oct-2014

Following the decision to cancel revision efforts begun in 2012

As the Secretariat of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 209, the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) has reconfirmed the existing ISO 14698 series standards covering biocontamination control.

This follows the decision to cancel the revision efforts made at this month's TC 209 plenary meeting in Seoul, South Korea.

The TC reopened the ISO 14698 Standards Series, which addresses biocontamination control in cleanrooms and associated controlled environments, in September 2012 after a decision was reached to revise the document.

Working Group (WG) 2, which oversaw the creation of the documents in this series, decided to combine the previous Part 1 (Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments – Biocontamination control – Part 1: General principles and methods) and Part 2 (Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments – Biocontamination control – Part 2: Evaluation and interpretation of biocontamination data) into one umbrella document, called 14698 Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments – Biocontamination control – Microbial cleanliness levels.

A committee draft was later released by WG 2 for balloting in March 2014. When balloting closed, the WG received more than 250 comments from its national member bodies, with five countries approving the draft (with comments), two countries rejecting the document (with comments), and eight countries abstaining.

In July this year, the UK's Tony Harrison resigned as ISO/TC 209 WG2 convenor. A ballot seeking nominations was initiated to find a replacement, as well as to obtain approval of an interim convenor from the UK to coordinate the WG 2's scheduled meeting in October, but the ballot closed in September 2014 without any nominations.

At the plenary meeting in Seoul, TC 209 therefore resolved to cancel the work item for ISO/CD 14698 and with this action reconfirmed the existing standards Part 1 and Part 2.

The TC consists of 13 working groups comprising experts from 22 participating countries and 21 observing countries. There are currently 12 published standards related to the work of ISO/TC 209.

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