Powder Containment Hoods for Capsule Filling & Pharmaceutical Compounding

Pharmaceutical Compounding has multiple methods of practice. Examples include manual handling, capsule-filling (or tablet encapsulation) machines, and sieving and granulation methods.

All of these methods have the potential to produce hazardous dust that can be inhaled by pharmacists and technicians.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) explains that, “although the intent of compounding medications is to benefit patients therapeutically, the ingredients used in these medications may present occupational hazards to the workers compounding them.” [1]

OSHA’s Technical Information Bulletin on the “Potential Health Hazards Associated with the Process of Compounding Medications from Pharmaceutical Grade Ingredients” describes multiple possible health effects from the inhalation of certain drugs and medications.

Three common examples:

  • Specific Antineoplastics (anti-cancer drugs)—potential health effects: “chromosomal aberrations, congenital malformations, nausea, dizziness, and allergic reactions”. [1]
  • Compounded Hormone Medications—potential health effects: menstruation anomalies (e.g. irregular bleeding), possible testicular dysfunction, unwanted changes in physical appearance (“such as masculinization of female workers and breast development in males…”), an increase in breast cancer (“which may be attributed to inhalation and skin absorption of estrogen during work”). The technical bulletin notes that further research is needed to draw any definitive conclusions to long-term effects to continued exposure to small amounts of drugs. [1]
  • Certain Antibiotics– for instance, a compounding pharmacist or technician may be allergic to penicillin and could suffer a violent allergic reaction. [1]

    OSHA emphasizes that individuals working in pharmaceutical settings should be educated and aware of the risks involved with the medications and drugs they work with. They also recommend methods for reducing employee exposure to these drugs:

    • Engineering Controls (e.g., laboratory hoods [powder containment hoods], glove boxes, barriers and containments, and worker isolation)
    • Administrative Controls
    • Personal Protective Equipment (e.g., respirators, gloves and lab coats)
    • Training                                                                                                               [1]

    These recommendations are meant to help reduce direct skin contact, reduce inhalation of powders, and decrease the chances of workers going home with contaminated clothing.

    Ductless Powder Containment Hoods

    Sentry Air has been providing negative-pressure respiratory engineering controls to businesses in the pharmaceutical compounding industry for several years. We manufacture simple and efficient Ductless Powder Containment Hoods that are designed to quickly capture airborne powders and direct them into the patented filtration system.

    We offer a variety of high-quality filtration options depending on the efficiency rate needed:

    HEPA Filtration: Up to 99.97% efficient on particles 0.3 microns and larger.
    ASHRAE Filtration: Up to 95% efficient on particles 0.5 microns and larger.
    ULPA Filtration: Up to 99.9995% efficient on particles 0.12 microns and larger.

    A pre-filter is also utilized for added protection and filter longevity.

    Ductless Powder Containment Hoods are available in a variety of widths (12″, 18″, 24″, 30″, 40″, 50″, 60″, 70″, and custom sizes) and can accommodate a wide variety of compounding tools, such as capsule filling machines and balances (the majority of our Pharmaceutical Compounding Hoods have an interior height of 24″).


    40″ Wide Powder Containment Hood


    Custom 50″ Wide Powder Containment Hood with extended sash height

    Another popular option is our customized Laminar Flow Hood (The Winged Sentry) with optional hinged, clear acrylic lid. This unit features infinitely adjustable “wing flaps” that operator’s can position depending on the process they’re performing.

    Model 300 Winged Sentry

     For more information on Ductless Powder Containment Hood options:

    View our Pharmaceutical Compounding Containment Systems Catalog (PDF)

    • Call us at 1.800.799.4609

    •Email us at sales@sentryair.com

    Fill out this form to receive more information from a Sentry Air Systems’ Applications Specialist.


    [1] OSHA’s Technical Information Bulletin on the “Potential Health Hazards Associated with the Process of Compounding Medications from Pharmaceutical Grade Ingredients”: http://www.osha.gov/dts/tib/tib_data/tib20011221.html