Cleanroom, Clean Planet
Clair Patterson was an environmentalist. Although he never made the claim, his work had one of the most positive environmental impacts of the 20th century. And what enabled this big leap forward? The invention of the cleanroom.
In the 1950s Patterson, a geochemist, was trying to determine the age of the earth. To do so he was measuring the rate of radioactive decay in lead found in the debris of a meteor crater. Patterson gathered lead samples, and took them back to his lab. However, determining the radioactive decay in the lead with any accuracy proved difficult. Lead in the ambient environment was contaminating his samples. He needed to be 100% sure that he was only measuring the material he collected and not picking up traces of lead in the atmosphere. He concluded his lab wasn’t clean enough and he needed a better solution. So Patterson created the first ultra cleanroom.
Through trial, error and innovation Patterson created a new lab that was so clean that he could measure his lead samples precisely and consistently. His hard work led to a huge discovery: Patterson determined the age of the earth was almost 4.5 billion years old.
To this day that measurement remains one of the most accurate estimations of the age of the planet.
Along the way Patterson found that the atmosphere was full of lead, which was the very reason he needed to create the cleanroom. Big industries were pumping lead into the atmosphere through cars and other industrial processes. Hand-in-hand with the creation of the cleanroom came a campaign to stop the use of lead in gasoline and other industrial products. Through Patterson’s work the harmful effects of lead in our environment were dramatically reduced.
Cleanrooms have always been associated with a cleaner environment, both at a global and micro scale. Just like Patterson, Hutchins & Hutchins™ believes we should do what we can to create a cleaner world. That’s why we work to distribute products and create processes that help reduce our environmental impact. Here are a few examples of how we follow in Patterson’s footsteps.
We work hard to ensure we always reduce, reuse and recycle our products and materials. Reducing waste is a powerful way to help the environment. That’s why we’ve adopted processes that enable us to keep our waste at a minimum and be better stewards of our output. Whether it’s by using electronic communication for all correspondence, reducing our energy consumption during off-hours, donating retired products or continuing the life of our products through recycling; we are dedicated to making the processes behind our business as planet-friendly as possible.
Working with other organizations to enable a smaller environmental footprint allows us to make a greater impact. The Right Cycle program through Kimberly-Clark Professional is a perfect example. Some cleanroom supplies are harder to recycle. When it comes to gloves and other garments, the solution is more complicated than recycling a can of Coke. Kimberly-Clark Professional has taken the guesswork out of recycling these products and streamlined the process. With a simple contract with The Right Cycle program, facilities can help reduce their waste and empower their organizations. For more about The Right Cycle program check out this link.
Whenever it’s possible we consider the environment. That goes for our products as well. Distributing supplies that can be recycled, reused or packaged in low-waste ways is a chief concern. You can see these efforts in many of our products, including our cut resistant sleeves made from recycled water bottles; our KoolTemp Shipping Containers made with a modular design that is reusable and easily recyclable; and our Rival 9.5” Nitrile Exam Gloves that are packaged to reduce waste and cost. We work to distribute products that are not only good for the environment, but right for our clients.
A good cleanroom teaches us many lessons about how to create a healthier environment. We must be careful, cautious and sensitive to what’s around us. At Hutchins & Hutchins™ we are dedicated to a better environment both inside and outside the room.
If you’re looking for ways to make your cleanroom more environmentally friendly give us call and we’re happy to help you find ways to do so.