Pharmaceutical-Grade Bulk Bags: How Do They Differ from Other FIBCs?
Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBCs) can carry fine powder, liquids, and various pharmaceutical materials. Because of the small and often easily-contaminated nature of pharmaceutical materials, getting a container that allows sterile management without losing materials to corners and awkward loading angles is crucial.
Here are a few details to keep in mind when handling pharmaceutical materials to make sure that your FIBC and liners match your needs.
Cross-Contamination Is Enemy Number One
Cross-contamination, moisture damage, accelerated degradation, and rot are all expensive problems that can compromise pharmaceutical materials faster than other bulk materials.
It’s not just because of certain materials being more sensitive than others, or reactions that happen in unprotected environments. The precision necessary to produce a high-quality, accurate product means that impurities and contamination at microscopic levels cannot be allowed.
Every pharmaceutical component must be paired with a pharmaceutical grade bulk bag option. This is because certain materials may be susceptible to specific contaminants in certain bag types, or may have higher standards than your average container.
What happens if you buy the “most expensive” container on the market that advertises pharmaceutical-grade sterile protection? You could luck out on a container that does a good enough job of protecting your product, or you could get an expensive waste that protects from everything except specific contaminants that ruin your product.
A specific type of plastic could react with your pharmaceutical materials, or a high-protection material might be so coarse that it grinds your materials into an unusable mass. To be safe, make sure to consult with your Palmetto FIBC account manager regarding your materials, any safety and handling guidelines you have, and your expected load to find the right storage system for you.
Sterile Environment Support
How many options are there? While there are certainly pharmaceutical-grade containers that can handle a massive number of different products and materials, you may have materials that need special liners, bags, or storage conditions.
The key to sterility is knowing your material standards. For most pharmaceutical materials, a few of the following food safety and ISO standards are vital:
Food standards cover multiple needs such as manufacturer personnel hygiene, ventilation, pest control standard operating procedures, and metal detection. Even though these standards cover similar needs to pharmaceutical standards, it’s still important to review and compare your own standards for compliance.
Managing Static Electricity Risks
Whether you’re dealing with capsules, pills, fine powders, coarse filler, or other pharmaceutical materials, there are static charge risks to keep in mind.
Buildup happens at multiple stages of material handling. From filling to unloading, the movement of your materials along with the storage equipment and the outside environment can lead to a dangerous static charge that can ruin your supply—or your personnel—if not handled.
Specific static risks vary depending on the material. Whether it’s a simple shock and burn that could break a container’s seal or flammable materials that could cause a catastrophic reaction, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Inspect your source, destination, and transport vehicles for static risks. Mitigating those risks can be done at each separate area to help you finely tune safety, and different types of bulk bag installations can be arranged by their static potential.
Palmetto Industries Keeps Your Products Secure
Palmetto Industries is the global expert on FBIC products and the go-to name in packaging. If you have questions about safely transporting your materials, contact us at 706-737-7999. Come see what customers around the world have known for over 25 years.