Concerning ISO cleanroom standards and this newsmagazine, it's time to fish or cut bait. Since our last issue hit the street, the editorial staff has been enlightened on the topic of why news of the ISO cleanroom standards has been received as such a nonissue among our readers.
And despite my protestations that the ranks of the contamination control profession were becoming populated by Homer Simpsons, we've learned quite a bit about the flip side of this coin.
Not all of the correspondence we've received on this topic has been printable, some due to the journalistic standards we maintain and some due to requests of the correspondents. But one letter that encapsulates many of the thoughts of the Yeah-I-See-It-Coming crowd appears in this edition [see Guest column, “Why ISO 14644-1 is not such a big deal,” pg 12].
Given the appearance of this thoughtful and pragmatic point of view, I believe that CleanRooms has now fulfilled its responsibility to air multiple sides of the argument. So now it's time for us, as a newsmagazine, to fish or cut bait on the issue ourselves.
Beginning this edition, we will express cleanroom classifications using the new ISO-14644-1 nomenclature first, followed in parentheses by the Fed-Std-209E equivalent. Doing so, we believe, acknowledges the inevitability of worldwide acceptance of the ISO standards, while simultaneously acknowledging the broad acceptance and use of the venerable Fed-Std-209E. It also serves the purpose of keeping awareness high of the new ISO standards.
Before you accuse us of being fence-sitters by catering to both sides, however, our policy is to include the Fed-Std-209E parenthetical appendage for only 12 to 24 months. We believe that in that period, the remainder of the ISO-14644 documents will be finalized, and that the United States General Services Administration (GSA) will have expressed and passed through channels a desire to migrate from the federal standard to the ISO standard. We believe this to be a reasonable and responsible course of action in an increasingly global economy.
After that 12 to 24 month period, we will cease using Fed-Std-209E nomenclature in our descriptions of air cleanliness classifications. This editorial policy reflects our belief in this prudent course of action.
George D. Miller