Reminder: Safe Use of the Open Jar Method of Isoflurane Delivery in Animal Research

July 26, 2017

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During the recent AAALAC visit, site visitors noted several locations where isoflurane was used in an open drop-jar, either on the bench top or inside a biosafety cabinet. As a reminder, there is a high risk of exposure to waste anesthetic gas (WAG) when using isoflurane in this manner; therefore, you should always perform this procedure in a chemical fume hood or under local exhaust ventilation such as a snorkel hood. Please note that most biosafety cabinets are not intended for use with volatile chemicals, such as anesthetic gases. Accordingly, every effort should be made to avoid using isoflurane in a biosafety cabinet.

If it is not feasible to use a chemical fume hood or snorkel exhaust, please contact the Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Office to conduct a risk assessment. The risk assessment process will include a review of the work setup and measuring the level of isoflurane to ensure it is below the recommended exposure limit.

Please also take a moment to review the Laboratory Standard Operating Procedure, SOP for Anesthetic Gases in Animal Research, published on the EHS website. This document can be customized to fit your lab’s specific needs. Download this flyer for more information on the key differences between laboratory hoods and their proper uses.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact EHS at ehs-animalsafety@umich.edu.