Air Pressure in a Supplement Manufacturing Facility

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Air Pressure in a Supplement Manufacturing Facility

A GMP for Dietary Supplements group member recently inquired about positive air pressure requirements for dietary supplement manufacturing facilities. The short answer is no; there are no specific requirements, and there’s no minimum for differentiating pressure (DP) for a supplement manufacturing facility. The only applicable regulation for facilities is Section 111.20, which states that “any physical plant you use in the manufacture, packaging, labeling, or holding of dietary supplements must: (a) Be suitable in size,
construction, and design to facilitate maintenance, cleaning, and sanitizing operations.” Basically, as long as the facility is clean and designed to prevent contamination and mix-ups, you should comply.

However, it never hurts to go a step further from a quality standpoint. DP is relative. You may have a more pressing need to control the environment if:

  • The facility has low air pressure, but the warehouse doors are often left open, causing variations in temperature or air flow.
  • The nature of the materials being used has an inherent risk of contamination. Dusts and powders can absorb moisture form the air, join with bacteria, and ultimately contaminate a product.

This can be achieved with the use of ventilation systems, dust extraction systems, airlocks, and HEPA HVAC systems. While not formally required, these systems are used by supplement manufacturers, and quality has a competitive edge.