What are GMP Standards for Cleanrooms?

Clean rooms play a crucial role in high-demand industries such as pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetics. Commonly referenced clean room standards include ISO and Federal standards. However, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards are also widely used, especially in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetics industries, due to their stricter quality control requirements.



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Definition of GMP Standards

Definition of GMP Standards

GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice. These standards are designed to ensure that products, such as food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and medical devices, consistently meet regulatory, guideline, and procedural requirements for production processes and quality standards.


GMP Classification Levels

GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) classification levels are primarily based on international standards and regulations, such as ISO 14644 and the EU GMP Annex 1. These classifications are particularly important in the production of pharmaceuticals and biological products, where stringent cleanliness is required. Below are the main GMP cleanliness levels:

GMP cleanliness levels are determined by the cleanliness requirements of the product and production environment, especially in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and biological products. These classifications follow international standards and regulations, such as ISO 14644 and EU GMP Annex 1.


Pharmaceutical GMP Cleanliness Levels

The cleanliness levels in pharmaceutical GMP are categorized based on the required cleanliness for products and production environments. These levels adhere to international standards and regulations.


Cleanliness Levels According to ISO Standards

Cleanliness Levels According to ISO Standards

ISO 14644, published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), defines the air cleanliness levels in clean room environments. 

ISO 1:The highest level of cleanliness, with no more than 10 particles of 0.1 microns per cubic meter of air.

ISO 2:No more than 100 particles of 0.1 microns per cubic meter of air.

ISO 3: No more than 1,000 particles of 0.1 microns per cubic meter of air.

ISO 4: No more than 10,000 particles of 0.1 microns per cubic meter of air.

ISO 5:No more than 100,000 particles of 0.1 microns per cubic meter of air.

ISO 6: No more than 1,000,000 particles of 0.1 microns per cubic meter of air.

ISO 7:No more than 10,000,000 particles of 0.1 microns per cubic meter of air.

ISO 8:No more than 100,000,000 particles of 0.1 microns per cubic meter of air.

ISO 9:The lowest level of cleanliness, equivalent to ordinary indoor air.


Cleanliness Levels in EU GMP Annex 1

Cleanliness Levels in EU GMP Annex 1

EU GMP Annex 1 specifies cleanliness levels for the production environments of sterile medicinal products. These levels correspond to the ISO standards as follows:

Grade A:The highest cleanliness level, typically used for critical areas such as filling and packaging zones. This level is equivalent to ISO 4.

Grade B: For sterile preparation and filling areas, corresponding to ISO 5.

Grade C:Used for the preparation and filling of sterile products, equivalent to ISO 7.

Grade D:For the initial preparation of sterile products, corresponding to ISO 8.


GMP Levels in the Food and Other Industries


GMP Levels in the Food Industry

In the food industry, there is no standardized classification for GMP cleanliness levels. Instead, companies typically establish specific cleanliness standards based on their production processes and products to ensure safety and hygiene.


GMP Levels in the Cosmetics Industry

GMP Levels in the Cosmetics Industry

The cleanliness requirements for cosmetics production environments generally refer to ISO standards. However, the specific levels and requirements are adjusted based on the type of product (such as skincare or makeup) and the results of risk assessments.


GMP Standards Requirements

Clean rooms play a crucial role in the production process, especially in specialized industries such as pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetics. To ensure product quality and safety, clean rooms must adhere to strict GMP requirements.


Design and Construction

Site Selection and Layout:

Clean rooms should be located away from industrial pollution sources and busy roads to minimize external air contamination.

The internal design must include well-planned logistics and personnel flow paths to prevent cross-contamination.


Building Materials and Surface Treatment:

Interior walls, floors, and ceilings should be made of smooth, seamless, and easy-to-clean materials. Additionally, these surfaces should be antimicrobial and corrosion-resistant to withstand regular cleaning and disinfection.


HVAC and Air Purification Systems:

HVAC and Air Purification Systems

Clean rooms must be equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters to ensure that the incoming air meets the required cleanliness standards.

The temperature and humidity inside the clean room must be kept stable to prevent microbial growth and static electricity buildup.

Maintain positive pressure inside the clean room relative to the outside environment to prevent external contaminants from entering.


Environmental Control

Temperature and Humidity:

Maintain temperature and humidity within specific ranges according to product and process requirements. Generally, the temperature should be controlled between 18-25°C (64-77°F) and humidity between 30-65%.


Airflow Direction and Pressure Gradient:

Critical operation areas should use unidirectional airflow to ensure that air flows from cleaner to less clean areas.

Clean areas should maintain positive pressure relative to surrounding areas.


Cleanliness Levels and Particle Counts:

Regularly monitor the concentration of particles and microorganisms in the air to ensure compliance with specific cleanliness levels (e.g., ISO 5, ISO 7).

Clean rooms of different cleanliness levels must meet the corresponding particle count standards as specified by ISO 14644.


Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning and Maintenance for cleanroom

Cleaning Procedures and Frequency:

Develop detailed cleaning and disinfection procedures, including the selection of cleaners and disinfectants, methods of application, and frequency. Clean and disinfect regularly based on the usage of the clean room.


Disinfection and Sterilization Methods:

Choose appropriate disinfection and sterilization methods based on an assessment of contamination risks. Methods may include UV light, chemical disinfectants, and thermal sterilization.

Regularly validate the effectiveness of disinfection and sterilization methods to ensure they effectively control microbial contamination.


Equipment and Facility Maintenance:

Equipment and Facility Maintenance

Create a maintenance schedule for equipment and facilities to ensure they operate correctly. Promptly detect and repair any malfunctions in equipment and facilities to avoid compromising the clean room’s environmental control.


Personnel Management

Training and Qualifications:

All personnel entering the clean room must undergo training to understand the operating procedures and hygiene requirements. Regular assessments and retraining should be conducted to ensure that staff maintain their operational skills and hygiene awareness.


Dressing and Entry Protocols:

A designated dressing area should be established outside the clean room where personnel can change into dust-free clothing, shoe covers, gloves, masks, and other protective gear. Strict protocols for entering the clean room should be implemented to prevent the introduction of contaminants.


Hygiene and Health Standards:

Employees must adhere to personal hygiene rules, such as frequent handwashing and keeping nails short and clean. Regular health checks should be conducted to ensure that employees do not have infectious diseases or skin conditions that could contaminate the clean room.


Materials and Equipment Management

Materials and Equipment Management

Storage and Transportation of Raw Materials and Finished Products:

Store raw materials and finished products in a clean environment to prevent contamination. Establish dedicated logistics pathways to avoid contamination during transportation.


Equipment Cleaning, Maintenance, and Calibration:

Regularly calibrate equipment to ensure accuracy and reliability. Perform routine cleaning and maintenance to keep equipment in optimal condition.


Material Flow Control:

Develop clear processes for material flow to avoid cross-contamination between different batches and types of materials. Clearly label all materials to prevent confusion and ensure proper handling.


Production Process Control

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs):

Every production step should have detailed standard operating procedures to ensure consistency. All personnel must strictly follow these procedures to maintain standardized production processes.


Documentation and Traceability:

Keep detailed records for each production batch, documenting all operational steps and key parameters. Implement a batch traceability system to quickly identify specific stages in the production process if quality issues arise.


Deviation and Change Management:

Deviation and Change Management

Any deviation from standard operating procedures should be thoroughly documented and investigated. Strictly control and record any changes in the production process to ensure they do not affect product quality.


Quality Control and Monitoring

Environmental Monitoring Plan:

Develop and implement an environmental monitoring plan. Regularly inspect the air, surfaces, and equipment in the clean room, analyze the monitoring results, and take corrective actions promptly.


Microbial Control:

Employ appropriate measures to control microbial levels, such as using sterile techniques and regular disinfection. Regularly monitor the microbial levels in the air and on surfaces to ensure compliance with standards.


Regular Testing and Validation:

Conduct regular cleanliness tests and validate the performance of the clean room. Perform periodic validation of critical equipment to ensure it meets performance requirements.


Document and Record Management

Document Control and Version Management:

Prepare all necessary documents and records, including operating procedures, training records, maintenance logs, and more. Implement version control to ensure the use of the most up-to-date documents.


Record Keeping and Archiving:

Record Keeping and Archiving

Properly store all production and quality control records to ensure traceability. Establish a record archiving management system to ensure the completeness and security of the records.


Electronic Records and Data Integrity:

When using electronic records, ensure data integrity and security to prevent tampering or loss. Establish a data backup system to ensure safe storage and recovery of data.


Differences Between GMP, ISO, and Federal Standards


GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice):** Focuses on the quality and safety of products during the manufacturing process.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization):** Concentrates on standardizing management systems to improve overall operational efficiency and quality, facilitating international trade.

Federal Standards:** Emphasize the quality and consistency of products and services procured by the government, ensuring that federal procurement needs are met.



GMP: Applicable to industries such as pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics, and medical devices.

ISO: Applicable across various industries and sectors, covering a wide range of applications.

Federal Standards: Applicable to products and services procured by the federal government.


Implementation and Oversight:

GMP: Supervised and audited by national or regional drug regulatory agencies.

ISO: Audited by third-party certification bodies. Once certified, organizations must continually improve and maintain their standards.

Federal Standards: Developed and supervised by federal government departments. Suppliers must comply with relevant procurement specifications and requirements.

Federal Standards

GMP Certification and Audits

GMP certification and audits are critical to ensuring that a company’s production processes meet quality standards. Here are the details regarding GMP certification and audits:


GMP Certification

Purpose of Certification:

The primary purpose of GMP certification is to ensure that a company’s production processes and management systems comply with GMP standards, thereby guaranteeing the quality, safety, and efficacy of its products. By obtaining certification, companies can demonstrate that their production facilities and processes meet the required quality management standards.


Certification Process

GMP certification typically involves the following key steps:


Initial Consultation:

The company communicates with the certification body to understand the certification requirements and process.

Evaluate the company’s readiness and determine the scope of the certification.


Document Preparation:

Document Preparation

The company prepares the necessary documents and records, including Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), quality management manuals, training records, and cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Documents should be comprehensive and detailed, covering all GMP requirements.



The company conducts internal audits and self-assessments to identify and correct any non-compliances.

Ensure all GMP requirements are met and prepare for the external audit.


Application for Certification:

The company submits a formal application to the certification body, along with relevant documents and records.


On-Site Audit:

The certification body sends auditors to conduct an on-site audit, inspecting the company’s production facilities, operating procedures, and documentation.

The audit includes personnel training, process control, environmental monitoring, equipment maintenance and cleaning, and quality control.


Audit Report and Corrective Actions:

The auditors issue an audit report, listing any deficiencies and suggestions for improvement.

The company addresses the issues outlined in the report and submits a corrective action report to the certification body.


Review and Verification:

The certification body reviews the company’s corrective measures and verifies that the issues have been effectively resolved.


Certification Decision:

Certification Decision

If the audit results are satisfactory, the certification body issues a GMP certification certificate.

The company can use the certification mark to demonstrate to customers and regulatory agencies that its production processes comply with GMP standards.


GMP Audits

Internal Audits

Internal audits are a crucial part of a company’s self-assessment process, aimed at ensuring ongoing compliance with GMP requirements. These audits are typically conducted by the company’s internal quality management team and include the following components:


Audit Plan:

Develop an annual audit plan that covers all critical production stages and management activities.

Determine the frequency and focus areas of the audits.


Audit Execution:

Conduct on-site inspections according to the plan, assessing the GMP compliance of various departments.

Interview employees, review documents and records, and observe actual operations.


Issue Identification and Corrective Actions:

Issue Identification and Corrective Actions

Document any issues identified during the audit and analyze their root causes.

Develop corrective action plans to ensure the issues are resolved.


Audit Report:

Prepare an audit report summarizing the findings and corrective actions.

Submit the report to management for review and track the implementation of corrective measures.


External Audits

External audits are typically conducted by third-party certification bodies or regulatory agencies to verify that a company continues to comply with GMP requirements. The main components of an external audit include:


Audit Preparation:

Notify the company of the audit schedule and scope, and the company prepares relevant documents and records.

Assign auditors and develop an audit plan.


On-Site Audit:

Auditors inspect the production facilities, operational processes, environmental controls, and documentation.

Interview employees to assess their understanding and implementation of GMP requirements.


Audit Findings and Report:

Audit Findings and Report

Document any issues and non-conformities identified during the audit.

Issue an audit report that details the findings and provides recommendations for improvement.


Corrective Actions and Verification:

The company addresses the issues noted in the audit report and submits a corrective action report.

The audit body reviews the implementation of corrective measures and verifies their effectiveness.


Ongoing Monitoring:

The certification body or regulatory agency conducts periodic follow-up audits to ensure the company continues to comply with GMP requirements.


Application of GMP Standards (Importance of GMP Standards)

GMP standards are applied across various industries, primarily in sectors that require stringent control of the production environment and product quality, such as pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetics.


Pharmaceutical Industry:

Drug Manufacturing:

GMP standards are crucial in drug manufacturing, ensuring that medications meet quality, safety, and efficacy standards. This includes stringent control over the production process, equipment cleaning and maintenance, inspection of raw materials and finished products, and meticulous record-keeping and documentation.


Medical Device Production:

Medical Device Production

The production of medical devices must also comply with GMP standards to ensure product quality and safety. This involves strict control over the design, manufacturing, cleaning, sterilization, and packaging processes.


Biotechnology Products:

The production of biotechnology products, such as biological formulations, biopharmaceuticals, and vaccines, must adhere to GMP standards. While the specific requirements may vary depending on the nature of the biotechnological product, stringent control and quality management of the production process are always essential.


Food Industry:

Food Processing:

In the food processing sector, GMP standards ensure that the production process adheres to hygiene conditions, appropriate selection of raw materials, process control, and packaging requirements. Food manufacturers are required to conduct rigorous inspections and maintain detailed records of raw materials and finished products to guarantee food safety and quality.


Beverage Production:

Beverage production must also comply with GMP standards to ensure the safety, hygiene, and quality of beverages. Beverage manufacturers are required to strictly control water sources, raw materials, production equipment, and packaging processes to prevent contamination and cross-infection.


Cosmetics Industry:

Cosmetics Production:

GMP standards play a vital role in cosmetics production, ensuring that products meet safety, hygiene, and quality standards. This includes selecting and inspecting raw materials, controlling production processes, and maintaining the cleanliness and sterilization of production equipment and packaging.


Other Industries:

Beyond the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetics industries, GMP standards also apply to other fields requiring stringent control of the production environment and quality, such as:


Chemical Industry:

Chemical Industry

The production of certain chemical products must comply with GMP standards to ensure product quality and safety.


Biotechnology Industry:

This includes areas such as biopharmaceuticals and bioengineering, where the production process must adhere to GMP standards to ensure the quality and safety of the products.


Laboratories and Research Institutions:

Laboratories and research institutions may also need to follow GMP standards, particularly when handling biological samples and experimental reagents.


Case Study of GMP Standards

A pharmaceutical company named “PharmaCare” has been dedicated to producing and selling medical products, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and medical devices. To ensure that their products meet quality and safety requirements, PharmaCare decided to implement GMP standards and successfully achieved GMP certification.

By implementing GMP standards, PharmaCare has achieved significant accomplishments and benefits. Their success demonstrates that complying with GMP standards is crucial for ensuring product quality and safety. It also enhances the company’s competitiveness and reputation, providing consumers with high-quality, safe medical products.

Case Study of GMP Standards



GMP standards for clean rooms play a crucial role across various industries, particularly in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The implementation of these standards ensures the quality, safety, and efficacy of the production process, ultimately protecting the health and interests of consumers.

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