United States
         Environmental Protection
         Agency
Ofice of Water
(4303)
EPA821-B-96-001
January 1996
DRAFT
SEPA   Guidance on Establishing Trace
         Metal Clean Rooms in Existing
         Facilities
                                             ) Printed an Recycled Paper

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v>EPA   Guidance on Establishing Trace
        Metal Clean Rooms in Existing
        Facilities
                                    ) Printed on Recycled Paper

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                                   Acknowledgments


This guidance was prepared under the direction of William A. Telliard of the Engineering and
Analysis Division (BAD) within the U.S. Environmental Agency's (EPA's) Office of Science and
Technology (OST). The document was prepared by A. Russell Hegal of the University of California
at Santa Cruz under EPA Contract 68-C3-0337 with the DynCorp Environmental Programs Division.
                                       Disclaimer
This guidance document has been reviewed and approved for publication by the Analytical Methods
Staff within the Engineering and Analysis Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation
for use.

                                   Further Information
For further information, contact:

W.A. Telliard
Engineering and Analysis Division (4303)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460
Phone: 202/260-7134
Fax:   202/260-7185
Requests for additional copies of this method should be directed to:

Water Resource Center
Mail Code RC-4100
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460
202/260-7786 or 202/260-2814
it                                                                         Draft, January 1996

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                                       Section 1
                                     Introduction
       The concept of "trace metal clean" laboratories for environmental analyses was pioneered by
Clair C. Patterson at the California Institute of Technology. He recognized that measurements of
environmental lead concentrations were often erroneously high because of the inadvertent introduction
of contaminant lead to the samples (Patterson, 1965).  He then determined that contamination occurred
during sampling in the field, during storage of the samples prior to analysis, and during analysis of the
samples in the laboratory.  This resulted in his development of rigorous trace metal "clean techniques"
for elemental analyses of environmental samples (Patterson and Settle, 1976). Prominent among those
techniques was the establishment of trace metal clean facilities for cleaning reagents and materials
used for sampling and analyses and for storing, processing, and analyzing samples.

       While the importance of trace metal clean laboratories is now widely recognized, Patterson
received a great deal of criticism while he was developing those facilities. Much of that criticism was
focused on the inordinate effort and cost involved in trace metal clean analyses compared to standard
analyses.  Indeed, the level of expertise, time, and cost invested in analyses in Patterson's laboratories
was prohibitively expensive for most other research groups, much less environmental monitoring
laboratories.

       However, Patterson and others who adopted Ms trace metal clean techniques demonstrated that
much of the environmental trace element data collected without those techniques were erroneously
high.  This phenomenon has  been repeatedly demonstrated by interlaboratory calibrations and through
comparisons with data in the literature. Consequently,  trace metal clean  techniques are now
considered to be essential for many environmental monitoring and research programs.

       As a result, the construction of trace metal clean facilities has developed into a multimillion-
dollar-a-year business.  Manufacturers now compete to  design and build facilities that are "ultra trace
metal clean,"  in response to requests for a laboratory that is "better than Patterson's." Actually, many
people now using trace metal clean laboratories do not  know who Patterson is, and Ms  laboratory
would not be acceptable by today's standards.

       The problem with Patterson's laboratory was that it was constructed in the 1950s within a
building that had been constructed in the 1930s. The building's construction made it impossible to
have the most effective flow of HEPA (Mgh efficiency particle attenuation) air through his laboratory.
Instead, filtered air entered through metal ducts hi the center of the rooms, and drying ovens were
flushed with filtered nitrogen pumped up from tanks in the basement three floors below.  The
building's construction also precluded the use of modem plastics in the construction of acid hoods and
laboratory furniture. The hoods were constructed of stainless steel and covered with epoxy paint, and
the counters, wMch were also stainless steel, were covered with a fresh sheet of plastic each day.
Moreover, Patterson's clean water system was a handmade quartz still that took years to perfect, cost
tens of thousands of dollars to construct, and occupied  an entire room.

       Although Patterson's now antiquated laboratory could be subjected to ridicule today, the trace
Draft, January 1996

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metal data generated in that laboratory are still the benchmark for accuracy. This apparent
inconsistency illustrates both the importance and limitations of trace metal clean facilities. Trace metal
clean facilities are required for accurate analyses of many trace element concentrations in
environmental matrices, but the use of those facilities does not ensure the analyses will be accurate.

        Similarly, the accuracy of trace element analyses does not necessarily improve as the size and
cost of the laboratory increase.  This discrepancy has been illustrated by the success of some of  -
Patterson's early apostles.  They include Ed Boyle, Ken Bruland, and John Martin, who made several
of the first accurate measurements of part-per-biffion trace element concentrations in the oceans.
Boyle's first trace metal clean facilities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology consisted of a
single HEPA laminar flow hood in the back of his laboratory; Bruland's first trace metal clean
facilities at the University of California at Santa Cruz consisted of wooden carnival-type booths with
used HEPA filters that were scavenged from a computer company; and Martin's first trace metal clean
laboratory at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories was in an old aquarium.  The experiences of these
and other researchers demonstrate that adequate trace metal clean facilities can be constructed within
existing structures and at relatively little cost
                                                                               Draft, January 1996

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                                       Section 2
                           General Considerations
The most important consideration in the construction of a trace metal clean facility is the hierarchy of
cleanliness within the laboratory. There should be a well-defined gradient of increasing cleanliness
from the regular laboratory facilities to the cleanest facilities at the back of the clean room(s).  Inputs
of HEPA-filtered air should be located in that area and should establish a net positive-pressure flow of
air through the rest of the clean room(s) and into the general laboratory. Conversely, to Emit the
amount of contamination introduced in the cleaner areas, most personnel activities should be located in
the regular laboratory facilities. Moreover, activities in the clean areas should be strictly controlled,
with limited access and mandatory precautions.

This hierarchy is most easily addressed with the construction of a set of rooms in sequence (see Figure
1). This set could include a regular laboratory, change room, "clean" room, "cleaner" room, and
"cleanest" room; a parallel hierarchy of cleanliness should exist within each room. Such a construction
would provide the optimal physical and psychological barriers to the transport of contaminants into the
clean rooms.

Often such construction is not necessary, as evidenced by the utility of the much more modest trace
metal clean facilities of Boyle, Bruland, and Martin noted previously.  In addition, only modest
facilities are required for many trace metal analyses. These include analyses of part-per-million
concentrations of trace elements in sewage, sediments, and biological tissues.  A single trace metal
clean area with its own hierarchy of cleanliness is sufficient in those cases. More extensive trace
metal clean facilities are required for analyses of part-per-billion concentrations and below in most
laboratories, and are advised for most trace metal analyses whenever possible.  This is because they
provide both physical and psychological barriers to the introduction of contaminants to the samples
within the laboratory.

This guidance document provides a mix of what is optimal and what is acceptable in establishing trace
metal clean laboratories within existing facilities. It is based on experience rather than specific
engineering designs.  This experience includes work in Patterson's, Martin's, and Bruland's
laboratories, as well as in Sid Niemeyer's laboratory at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and
M. Tatsumoto's laboratory at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).  This experience also includes
constructing three "temporary" (one is now ten years old) trace metal clean laboratories in existing
facilities and designing a trace metal clean laboratory in a new building. The design of each
laboratory was based on numerous discussions of the advantages and disadvantages of different
designs with numerous other users of trace metal clean laboratories. In almost every case, the designs
of those other laboratories were constrained by existing facilities, size, and cost.
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       Figure 1 illustrates the general design of a trace element clean laboratory , and shows the
hierarchy of cleanliness within rooms and associated flow of HEPA-filtered air. Solid lines between  ;
the regular laboratory, change room, and clean rooms indicate iheir physical isolation, preferably by
solid doors. Hatched lines between the "clean," "cleaner," and "cleanest" rooms indicate their relative
isolation, which may be achieved with, physical barriers (e.g., solid doors or plastic sheets) or with
defined laboratory practices. For example, the "clean" room could be for instrumental analyses, the
"cleaner" room could be for sediment analyses, and the "cleanest" room could be for water analyses.
Conversely, all three clean areas could be within a single laminar flow work station, where the
cleanest materials are placed at the back.  In either case, the arrangement is designed to establish a
hierarchy of cleanliness that minimizes the potential for contamination within the facility.

       This arrangement does not need to be linear, as depicted.  Such linearity is difficult to achieve
in the design of many new buildings, and it is even more difficult to achieve when retrofitting an old
building. Fortunately, the primary criterion is that the arrangement of clean facilities is hierarchical,
with HEPA airflow conforming to that hierarchy within those facilities.

       The other important criterion is that health and safety features are not compromised.  There
musl be visibility into the clean-room areas from outside areas, and there must be reasonable access
and egress. Also, individual rooms should be equipped to meet all fire and safety codes. This
equipment would include metal sprinkler heads installed in the ceilings of the otherwise trace metal-
free laboratories. As  described later in this document, however, minor actions can be taken to
minimize the potential for contamination from these sprinkler heads.

FIGURE 1.
                   I
                   y.
                   
                   UJ
                   X
                                    Regular  Laboratory
                                        Change Room
                                         Clean  Room
Cleaner Room
                                       Cleanest Room
                                                                    62-001-62
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                                       Sectioii 3

                                   Change Room

       With the preceding caveats, a separate change room should be constructed whenever feasible.
The room should be located between the general laboratory and the trace metal clean room(s) to  "
provide both the physical and psychological barriers to the transport of contaminants between the other
two areas.  These barriers are partially created by constructing the change room with the same
materials as those of the clean room and by maintaining a positive-pressure flow of HEPA-filtered air
from the clean room(s) through the change room and into the regular laboratory to preclude most
atmospheric transport of contaminants into the clean areas.  These barriers also are created by
minimizing the movement of individuals into the clean area, and by requiring them to change into
proper garments before entering that area.  Changing into proper garments includes (1) removing street
shoes and replacing them with clean-room shoes that are never worn outside the clean areas, or
covering street shoes with booties; (2) donning clean-room hats and gowns, which are never worn
outside the clean areas; and (3) wearing plastic gloves, which are replaced regularly and whenever they
come in contact with a potential source of contamination.

      Change rooms provide a transitional place for moving samples  and  other materials from dirty to
clean environments. Those materials are commonly enclosed in a series of protective coverings that
may range from highly contaminated shipping boxes on the outside to acid-cleaned polyethylene bags
on the inside.  Since this requirement for existing materials is similar to the preceding requirement for
changing from street shoes to clean-room shoes within the change room, an ideal change room should
have its own highly defined areas of cleanliness.  Notably, a relatively dirty area, where contaminated
materials (e.g., shoes and boxes) from the outside are discarded, and a relatively clean area, where
noncontaminated materials (e.g., clean-room attire and clean sample containers) are maintained for use
in the clean room(s).  These areas should be further demarcated by tacky mats at the entrance and exit
of the change room.

       The hierarchy of cleanliness within the change area may be improved with a wash area.
Before putting on clean-room attire, individuals may be required to wash their hands in this area.
Containers for sample and clean-room supplies may also be rinsed off in this area before they are
moved into the clean room. Since these are some of the primary sources of contamination in many
clean laboratories, the installation of a wash area within the change area is strongly recommended
whenever feasible.

       As an example, the cleanliness hierarchy used at the University of California, Santa Cruz
ranges from (1) a large (8 ft x 20 ft) room with a sink in the middle for a stable isotope laboratory, (2)
a smaller (4 ft x 10 ft) room without a sink for water and tissue laboratories, and (3) a small area (2 ft
x 3 ft) within an existing sediment laboratory. (The small area is essentially defined by the size of the
tacky mat immediately  inside the entrance.  Clean-room shoes and laboratory coats are hung on the
inside wall of the entry. Immediately outside the entrance, street shoes are discarded on a mat, and
general laboratory coats are discarded on a coat rack.  Clean laboratory shoes are kept on the tacky
mat, and street shoes are discarded on a mat outside the sediment laboratory.)  Each change area
should provide a sufficient amount of cleanliness for the transition from a regular laboratory to a clean
laboratory.
Draft, January 1996

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Page Intentionally Blank

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                                      Section  4
                                  Clean Rooms
4.1    HEPA-FHtered Air

       A positive flow of HEPA-filtered air is of paramount importance, as previously emphasized
       For example, all work in Patterson's laboratory was ceased when his clean air supply had to
       be shut down over a weekend. Work was not resumed until the air supply was running again,
       even though no one had entered the laboratory during that period.  Every surface in the
       laboratory was thoroughly cleaned before any new analyses were initiated, and the first set of
       analyses consisted of blank analyses to determine potential lead contamination in every reagent
       and sample container that had been in the laboratory when the clean air supply had shut down.

       Again, the concept of airflow in a trace metal clean laboratory is simple.  HEPA-filtered air
       should flow from the cleanest part of the facility to the dirtiest part. The flow should be
       steady and uninterrupted, with sufficient positive pressure to preclude the atmospheric transport
       of contaminants into the clean area.  There are engineering arguments for  the location of the
       HEPA filters above die work surface (National Science Foundation design) and behind the
       work surface (Le,, blowing over the sample and toward the analyst). Empirical observations
       (and numerous blank measurements) show that either orientation is sufficient.

       The location of the intake for the filtered air supply is very important The intake should be at
       the opposite end of the room from the place where the filtered air enters the room. If more
       than one room is in the sequence, the intake should be at the opposite end of the farthest room
       from the filtered air outlet. This configuration ensures a positive flow of clean air throughout
       the system. Other intake configurations may establish cells of airflow within the clean room
       and may even draw unfiltered air into that area.


4.2   UI trap u re Water Supply

       mtrapure (18.3 MO/cm) water needs to be plumbed into the clean laboratory. An outlet
       should be located near the work surface to minimize movement within the area during
       chemical processing. Movement may be minimized by locating the systems near the  entrance
       to the clean room or within the change room, and by  plumbing the water to a carboy  with a
       spigot near the back of the laboratory.  This location  of systems minimizes the potential for
       contaminating the work area with metal or paint flakes from die  system or while replacing
       cartridges within the system.  It also rninimizes the potential to contaminate the systems by
       maintaining them in a clean environment.
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4.3   Materials

       Trace metal clean laboratories must be physically isolated from the sources of contamination
       that are so common in regular laboratories.  These include cements, paints, metals, and plastics
       that contain relatively high concentrations of metals that are mobilized by degradation of those
       materials.  Surfaces that may contaminate a sample should be constructed of relatively clean,
       inert materials such as polypropylene, polyethylene, and Teflon.  In addition to counter tops,
       these surfaces include regular and laminar flow acid hoods, which are now commercially made
       of plastics.  All other materials in the laboratory should either be constructed of comparable
       materials or covered with a relatively clean, inert epoxy paint.  This includes all handles,
       hinges, and electrical outlets, which are commonly made of metal, but are also made of
       plastics to prevent corrosion hi kitchens, bathrooms, and marine and other outdoor fixtures. It
       also includes the walls, ceiling, and floor. The latter should be covered with a non-skid epoxy
       paint.

4.4   Walls and Ceilings

       Additional care must be taken to prevent the transport of contaminants through the walls and;
       ceiling of a trace metal clean room constructed within an existing room.  As an example, one
       existing facility that was converted to a clean room contained a source of sawdust that fell
       through the plastic subceiling. The problem was remedied by sealing every joint  in the plastic
       ceiling with silicone, vacuuming the structure supporting the subceiling, and covering it with
       sheets of plastic.  These sheets are now inspected for integrity whenever the HEPA filters on
       the subceiBng are replaced.
4.5   Windows

       Access to the clean-room areas may be further controlled with windows that minimize traffic
       and maximize communication between adjacent areas.  Large windows in both the walls and'
       doors facilitate communication between individuals in adjacent areas. The windows may also
       be used to check on the status  of the clean areas without entering them or to show the
       facilities to visitors without taking them into the clean areas.  Ideally, windows should be
       installed on each wall that connects to adjacent clean rooms or changing areas.

       Pass-through windows facilitate the transfer of materials between the clean room with
       minimurn movement, but they may be an additional route of contamination.  The principal
       problem is their disruption of positive-pressure airflow out of the clean room.  Therefore,
       placement of pass-through windows should be limited to areas within a clean-room facility
       (e.g., between a "clean" room and a "cleaner" room).
                                                                             Draft, January 1996

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4.6    Doors

        While doors serve as barriers to the transfer of contaminants into clean rooms, they also serve
        as the major routes of those contaminants into the clean rooms.  This is due to the movement
        of individuals and materials through the doors. It is also due to  the disruption in positive-
        pressure airflow that occurs when they are opened and closed.

        Flexible sheets of plastic may be preferable to solid doors within some internal areas.  These
        doors are akin to the strips of plastic that are used in grocery stores to insulate frozen food
        areas, while allowing customers to take foods from those areas.  These plastic strips can be
        placed between areas with different levels of cleanliness in the clean labs. They can also be
        pkced between an instrument room and a regular laboratory.  The latter application can help
        maintain cleanliness within an instrument, in spite of the often continuous flow of individuals
        in and out of that area.  Another advantage of using plastic strips in doorways  is that they do
        not take up as much space as hinged doors.

        Sliding doors are another option that have been used with some degree of success in clean
        laboratories.  This includes both sliding glass doors,  which provide optimal visibility, and
        pocket doors, which require the least amount of space. However, these doors are not generally
        recommended for most clean-room facilities because they tend to be left partially open.

4.7    Safety  Features

        It should be emphasized that visibility and access into the clean-room areas are important
        health and safety features.  The use of acids and heat (hot plates, stills, and ovens) in those
        rooms, combined with the extensive use of highly flammable materials  in the construction of
        those rooms, makes them dangerous.  For example,  one clean room essentially melted when a
        plastic fume hood was overheated by a  hot plate that was inadvertently left on overnight.

        Consequently, it is essential for clean rooms to be designed with the involvement of fire
        marshals, as well as health and safety officers.  The  small amounts of metal introduced for
        safety features are inconsequential in terms of contamination. Therefore,  the use of fire
        retardants, additional doors for emergency exits, metal sprinkler heads in the ceilings, eye
        wash stations, fire extinguishers,  and other standard laboratory safety materials (e.g., acid spill
        kits) should be incorporated into  in every clean room.

4.8    Commercial  Options

        It should be noted that there are commercial options that, in many cases, may be more cost-
        effective than those described in this document. These include cases where (1) laboratory
        personnel are not in a position to cease  their regular activities in order to  construct a clean
        laboratory, (2) laboratory personnel are  not familiar with clean-room materials and design, and
Draft, January 1996

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       (3) time is limited.  In those cases, it may be most appropriate to have commercial clean
       laboratories installed. Some of those laboratories are constructed with flexible plastic ceilings
       and walls and with, rigid frames that may be placed in any configuration.  This enables them to
       be installed, essentially, overnight.
10                                                                            Draft, January 1996

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                                       Section 9
                                     Illustrations
While there are numerous clean-room facilities that are superior in scope and design to those shown in
the following illustrations, it has been found that the facilities described and illustrated in this
document are sufficient for trace element analyses at any existing or theoretical (Le., pristine) level.
Moreover, many of the clean-room facilities shown in the following illustrations were constructed
within existing facilities and at minimal cost. This includes one change room and three clean rooms
that were constructed in the basement of a twenty-five year old building at the University of California
at Santa Cruz. The materials for constructing those retrofitted facilities only cost a few thousand
dollars.  (Students, technicians, and teaching staff did most of the construction; university contractors
retrofitted the electrical wiring, plumbing, sprinkler system, and acid hood connections.)

Figure 2 shows the WIGS trace metal clean laboratory for water chemistry, which was installed within
an existing laboratory at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  The figure illustrates the
extraction counter at the rear of the laboratory and  the adjacent laminar flow exhausting acid hood.
The counter is abutted to a HEPA air system at the back of the laboratory. The laminar flow
exhausting hood has a HEPA air system within the roof of that hood. There is also has a HEPA air
system installed in the ceiling at the back of the laboratory.

The placement of the counter top below the bottom of the HEPA system is a design error. This was
due to the installation of a standing HEPA system,  which had been acquired as surplus from a
computer company, in the laboratory without changing the height of the system. Theoretically, this
displacement creates small turbulent airflows across the back of the counter.  Since there is no
evidence of the advection of contaminant air toward the back of the counter, this design error has not
been corrected.

The counters are covered with polypropylene.  The tops and the sides of the extraction counter and
acid hood are constructed of plexiglass.  There are  two movable plexiglass sheets on the front acid
hood, so mat samples may be processed with only one side of the hood opened.  The hinge for the
plexiglass is plastic with plastic screws.  When opened, the plexiglass is held up with velcro strips,
which appear as black stripes in the photograph.  The frame of the work area is constructed of
plastics; the frame of the acid hood is constructed of metal that is coated with epoxy paint because it
must hold the HEPA system on the ceiling.

The counter in the  work area has a small plastic sink, and the bottom of the perforated counter in the
acid hood has a collection trough.  Other sinks in the clean-room areas have plastic  fixtures.  These
provide water from clean water systems, which are plumbed with plastic.  Additionally, the alcove to
the right of the work area contains a carboy that receives water from a high purity system located in
an adjacent clean (albeit less clean) room.  The water is also fed into three sub-boiling quartz stills,
which are aligned in sequence and mounted on the wall of that alcove.

The metal bases on the hot plates in the acid hood  have been modified for the laboratory.
Draft, January 1996                                                                           11

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Specifically, the metal bases have been replaced with pyrex bases that have been sealed with silicone,
the electrical cords have been encased in clean plastic tubing, and the controls for the hot plates have
been placed within plastic boxes located beneath the acid hood.

The laboratory cabinets and furniture are constructed of wood and painted with epoxy. All metal
handles and hinges in those cabinets have been replaced with plastic fixtures.  Since the drying oven
below the work area is metal, all materials placed in the oven are enclosed in plastic containers.  "

The light fixtures within the acid hood and on the outside of the ceiling in the work area are
constructed of plastic materials. The fixtures in the acid hood are mounted to the frame with metal
hardware that has been painted with epoxy.  All other light fixtures in the clean room, as well as all
other clean-room facilities, are also constructed of plastic and mounted in a similar manner.

Figure 2.
12
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Figure 3 provides another view of the laminar flow exhausting acid hood in the WIGS water chemistry
room, and shows both the floor and ceiling within the laboratory.  The existing concrete floor was
covered with a non-skid epoxy paint. The ceiling within the laboratory was constructed with solid
plastic sheets, which were glued and screwed into a wooden frame.  The white spots in the ceiling are
plastic caps for the crews. The screws were sealed with silicone, as were the edges of the plastic
sheets and the openings in the ceiling for the plastic ducts to the acid hood. The outer sides of the-
wood frame were also covered with plastic sheets.  Internal walls that were built for the clean rooms
were constructed in the same manner.  Existing outer walls constructed of concrete, including the wall
at the rear of the laminar flow exhausting acid hood, were covered with an epoxy paint

Figure 3.
                                *.'?TK'r^;;>'T,,V--;
                              i?%^c*:'f^;^'l
                                           .VVW,, '. , I'/ ,.'>'".',' ..,.' ,.'
                                                  ;  : ,1' '.  \,'
    , January 1996
13

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Figure 4 illustrates the interior entrance from the WIGS general laboratory to the change room for the
water chemistry laboratory. Windows in the doors and adjacent walls provide views into the clean
room from the general laboratory. Variable transformers mounted near the ceiling in the change room
control heating units within the clean room. This placement allows the units to be adjusted without
going into the clean room and keeps the metal transformers of the clean room.  A tacky mat is located
at the entrance to the change room and at the entrance to the clean room.

Figure 4.
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Figure 5 shows the external entrance to the WIGS change room.  Because of space limitations, street
shoes and regular laboratory jackets are discarded before entering the change room, dean-room
booties, laboratory coats, and hats for the clean room are  stored on non-metal hooks hi the interior of
the entrance to the change room. Materials from dirty containers are transferred to clean containers
within the change room. Only clean materials are taken into the clean room. Only clean-room
materials are stored in the closet at the rear of the change room. A window in the interior door  -
between the change room and the clean room is aligned with a window in another door on the other
side of the change room to provide visibility into the clean room from the adjacent instrument room.
That instrument room is to the right of the entrance to the change room, and is entered through
hanging plastic sheets.  The light fixture installed in the change room is constructed of plastic. The
handles on the door from the change room to the clean room are plastic. A metal fire sprinkler head
is extended from the  main ceiling down through the ceiling in the change room,  where non-operative
parts of the sprinkler system are painted with epoxy.

Figure 5.
 Draft, January 1996
15

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Figure 6 depicts the entrances to the WIGS change room (on the left) and the instrument room (on the
right). The change room and connecting clean rooms have solid doors, walls, and ceilings. Their
wood doors and frames are covered with epoxy paint. The walls and ceilings are constructed of wood
frames and covered with solid plastic sheets on both sides.  Windows in the doors and walls in those
rooms are plexiglass.  The ceiling of the instrument room is  constructed of wood and covered with
flexible sheets of plastic, because ducting for the acid hood located in that room precluded the use of
solid plastic sheets. Individual areas within the instrument are separated by wood frames with sheets
of transparent plexiglass.  The entrance to the latter room is  through a plastic sheet, which facilitates
movement into that room while maintaining positive-pressure flows from HEPA air supply systems
located within the room.  HEPA work stations are located within the instrument room.

Figure 6.
16
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Figure 7 shows the ceiling in the WIGS instrument rdSin. The room was framed in wood and covered
with plastic sheets. Hie sheets were stapled to the frames and covered with duct tape. HEPA air
systems were mounted to the wood frames, directly above each instrument.  One section of plastic
sheeting was lowered to enclose the acid hood exhaust duct (white plastic).  The height requirements
of that duct precluded constructing a solid plastic ceiling within the instrument room.  Exhaust ducts
(blue plastic) of the atomic absorption spectrometer were vented through the plastic roof. (Only one
exhaust duct is visible in the photograph.)  Other electrical wires and plumbing were encased in plastic
and extended through the plastic ceiling. Existing light fixtures hi the original ceiling were left in
place, and supplemented with plastic light  fixtures that were mounted beneath the plastic ceiling. The
concrete block walls were covered with epoxy paint

Figure 7.
     , January 1996
17

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                                     Section 10
                                      Summary
       The basic requkements for a trace metal clean room are minimal.  They include metal freer
work surfaces and hoods, positive pressure with HEPA-filtered air, and clean (18.3 MQ/cm) water.
Each of those requkements may be readily achieved with commercially available materials, and they
may be easily installed within existing facilities at relatively little expense.  For example, the clean
facilities illustrated in Figures 27 enclose approximately 1,000 ft2 of trace metal clean rooms within  .
the basement of an old building, and were initially designed as temporary facilities.  These
"temporary" facilities have been proven to be sufficient for the past decade, as evidenced by the recent
attainment of a  procedural lead blank of 30 picograms (Flegal and Smith, 1995).  Costs were
ininimized by doing the labor in-house, but it is now possible to purchase relatively inexpensive
"portable" clean rooms. Those rooms are designed to be placed within existing rooms, and they have
proven to be sufficient for trace element analyses. Therefore, trace metal clean facilities are now
readily available for any laboratory.

       It should be noted, however, that the availability of those facilities does not ensure the validity
of date, generated within them. Moreover, the quality of those data may not improve with the
establishment of elaborate trace metal clean facilities.  That quality may be achieved only by
competent analysts using trace metal clean techniques within a trace metal clean laboratory.
                                     References
Flegal, A.R.; Smith, D.R. "Measurements of Envkonmental Lead Contamination and Human
Exposure," Reviews in Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, in press.

Patterson, C.C. "Contaminated and Natural Lead Environments of Man," Archives of
Environmental Health 1965.11, 344-360.

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