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Why are humidifiers used in medical equipment manufacturing?

The production of medical devices like stents, dressings and sutures is carried out in a cleanroom environment, where pollutants such as dust, microbes and vapours are tightly controlled at low levels. Integral to this environment is a humidification system, but why exactly is it so important in medical equipment manufacturing?

Moisture sensitivity

The materials used to make medical equipment can be sensitive to moisture and their integrity may be compromised if humidity falls outside a certain range. A humidification system ensures air moisture can be managed with the utmost accuracy.

Static elimination

To meet the requirements of IEC 60601-1-2 for electromagnetic compatibility, medical devices must be resistant to ESD (electrostatic discharge). To achieve this, relative humidity (RH) must be maintained at 55%. This eliminates the effects of static electricity, which can be discharged as a spark or cause materials to become attracted to each other.

Activating agent

Humidification also acts as an activating agent, which is useful because some substances only become active at a certain RH. One such substance is ethylene oxide, which acts as a sterilising agent but is only active at 70% RH or over.

To enquire about humidification systems and servicing for industrial, commercial, medical and many other applications, call Steve Rix on 07966423165 or email steve.rix@gibbonsgroup.co.uk

Humidification

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