NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    NOVEMBER 2013

Cleanroom Consumables Market to Exceed $7 Billion In 2014

The market for clothing, wipes and other consumables used in cleanrooms will grow this year to more than $7 billion.  This is the conclusion reached by McIlvaine Company in World Cleanroom Market.

Consumables Revenues ($Millions)

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 Disposable Clothing








 Reusable Clothing






There has been a decade old debate regarding the choice between reusable and disposable clothing.  The aggregate expenditure of over $2 billion for reusable clothing plus the laundering of this clothing is considerably more than the investment in disposable clothing.

Arguments in favor of the reusables are greater comfort, high quality and impact on the environment. These garments are typically rented rather than purchased.  The garment launder may also supply other consumables. This potentially eliminates multiple sourcing.

Arguments in favor of the single-use garments are consistency and avoidance of water pollution. When a garment is manufactured in a carefully controlled environment and then packaged in an air tight container prior to shipment to the cleanroom, there is an assurance of consistency.  Suppliers argue that with reusables, the operator is at the mercy of the launderer. The environmental argument is that the greenhouse gas generation by manufacturing of many disposables is more than offset by the potential water pollution from garments which may contain harmful contaminants.

Recent studies on garment quality versus particulate loading in the cleanroom show that motion is a bigger factor than had been previously considered.  Those rooms with more motion but equal quality hardware and consumables will show higher particulate levels than those with less motion.

Historically, the semiconductor industry embraced reusables whereas the pharmaceutical industry utilized single-use garments.  There was concern that pathogens might not be removed in the laundering process.  In recent years, this trend has shifted.  Many pharmaceutical plants now use reusable garments.

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