Air showers are chambers or tunnels used to decontaminate personnel via air jets as they enter or exit a cleanroom. By using pressurized jet nozzle air streams, air showers blow contaminating particles away from people or items that enter, then filter pollutants and redirect the clean air out of the chamber. The showers are placed at the entrances of cleanrooms or other controlled environments to secure the biggest potential containment breach, minimizing the danger to workers or products.
Stringent cleanliness requirements make air showers a standard choice of equipment for high-rated cleanrooms. But the usefulness of an air shower extends far beyond its chamber walls. Facilities that handle powder usage or food production feature air showers to prevent contaminants from mixing with products. In the cannabis industry, creating a clean, secure environment is crucial for cloning, vegetative growth and flowering. Placing an air shower at the entrance of a grow room serves as a blockade against a host of hazards in production.
When heat and humidity from grow lights accumulate, it might be tempting to leave a door cracked and spare the cost of air conditioning. But be careful—open doors allow exposure to all the contaminants of an external, unmitigated atmosphere. Dangerous fungus spores, insects, and other biological threats to the cannabis can breach the grow room if a door is left ajar. Even standard entrance and exit by authorized personnel can pose a threat to crops if not contained.
Insects can infest and destroy a crop, but they aren’t the most insidious grow room invader. Fungal spores in a cannabis crop could lead to serious problems for production. Fungi that produce mycotoxin compounds are toxic, and some subtypes can possess carcinogenic or neurotoxic properties. These factors, on top of the general health issues prevalent in mold, can cause infections of the human body. If the cannabis crop is exposed to these mold spores, it could result in compromised harvest, which can have significant financial repercussions for the cannabis company and for consumers. These fungi could cause the death of produce and spread throughout the facility, which makes decontamination of air entering the grow room crucial for the safety and success of the crop.
One of the greatest carriers of spores, bacteria and other pathogens in a grow room are humans. When personnel enter a grow room, they could potentially transport a collection of biological hazards stuck on their body. Gowning can contain some contaminants, but having a stricter and more thorough decontamination protocol is a wise choice for a sanitary facility. Air showers are an excellent choice to keep grow rooms and personnel clean because they remove dirt rather than covering it.
Air showers use high-velocity air jets to blow away hazardous particulates from clothing and other materials by causing them to shake and dislodge into the chamber. Once the particulates are loosened, the system directs the dirty air out through vents and through a HEPA filter, and then circulates the air out of the shower. The filter used is capable of catching 99.99% of bacteria as small as 3.0 microns, making the shower incredibly effective at removing pollutants.
Other features increase the usefulness of an air shower for cannabis facility application. Pass-through air showers have a door interlock system that allows only one door to open at a time. This prevents the accidental release of particles before the air is filtered, and provides an airflow velocity of 41 m/s (8,000 ft/min) for a powerful clean. Air showers also come in a variety of sizes and configurations to adapt to the needs and layouts of commercial grow rooms. Standard air showers have one blower module, entry room for one or two personnel and are ideal for economized spaces, while the largest air shower tunnels have four blower modules and can admit seven people at maximum capacity.
Mold spores can spread, insects can decimate crops, and improper atmospheric conditions can stunt or prevent growth, which makes air showers the sensible choice for a safe barrier between an uncontrolled environment and the ideal cannabis grow room. Keep produce safe from contaminants and infestations. Add the best feature for cleaner personnel and equipment. Secure, efficient, and suitable for any grow room, air showers make advanced protection a breeze.