The Pharmaceutics and Compounding Laboratory
Powders and Granules

Powder Containment Hoods

Compounding with powders raises a concern about the compounder's safety and the cleanliness of the compounding area. Typically, multiple dry powders are used in making a preparation, and the compounding process involves several activities. These activities aerosolize micronized particles that are only a few microns in diameters and not necessarily visible to the eye. There is a potential for the compounder to inhale these particles, for the powders to become cross-contaminated, and to fill the compounding area with ingredient particles.

Powder containment units have been developed to minimize these potential risks. These hoods are low airflow laminar environments that bring negative pressure air through the face opening, sweep the air across the work surface, and then out through HEPA filtration. There are different kinds of powder containment hoods.

Another part of "containment thinking" involves wearing and not wearing gloves. It is best to wear gloves when securing, transferring, and weighing powder ingredients. But what if during those activities it is necessary to interact with a computer or some other device, or to retrieve weigh boats and utensils, etc. Should the compounder remove the gloves? They will be contaminated with powder particles. So containment should be planned for throughout the compounding procedure, and be specified in the Formulation Record.