Animals Administered a Hazardous Substance Requiring Containment

June 30, 2016

To ensure compliance with current Occupational Safety & Environmental Health (OSEH) and Animal Care & Use practice standards, the Animals Administered a Hazardous Substance Requiring Containment Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been updated. In order to allow adequate time for staff training and compliance, the new procedures will be implemented in two phases based on facility location. 

Phase Facilities Implementation Date
I MSRB, BSRB, Brehm, Cancer Center August 15, 2016
II LSI, Dental School, School of Public Health, NCRC September 15, 2016


Staff in each facility will be held accountable for the new procedures 30 days after their implementation date (i.e., all facilities in Phase I must be compliant by September 15, 2016. All facilities in Phase II must be compliant by October 15, 2016). Failure to adhere to the new procedures after the posted dates will result in non-compliance notifications. 

These changes affect personnel (including but not limited to) involved in the cage changing of animals, personnel involved with equipment contaminated with hazardous substances, and personnel involved in the administration of these hazardous agents to animals. Risk protection to individuals using these agents is imperative.

  • Investigative Personnel: Refers to Principal Investigators (PIs), laboratory personnel, and staff that administer hazardous agents to the animals and have a responsibility to inform the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) staff of any changes in their hazardous agent uses, animal numbers, animal cages or other changes that may affect personnel, and animal health or procedures within the animal room.
  • ULAM Personnel: Refers to the ULAM Husbandry Supervisors and Technicians that maintain health and care within the biocontainment animal room. The ULAM Supervisor ensures signage is posted appropriately and that all ULAM and investigative staff are performing procedures appropriately within the biocontainment area.  

Note: Please provide husbandry supervisors with 72 hours advanced notice prior to placing animals into containment housing. 

Strict adherence to these procedures is necessary. Everyone performing procedures involved with handling animals or animal equipment contaminated with hazardous agents is required to read the SOP in its entirety.
The complete SOP can be found here

Posting of the Containment Room Sign             

Previously, there was no requirement to post a sign listing all of the hazardous substances in procedure rooms. Also, there was not a requirement to remove the sign after work with hazardous substances was completed in procedure rooms.

  • If hazardous substances are being used in a procedure room, a Hazard Containment Entry Sign as well as a Containment Procedure Room Sign listing all potential hazardous agents must be placed on the outside of the door when the room is in use. Once all procedures have been completed, investigative personnel should place the Containment Procedure Room Sign on the inside of the door.
    • The sign is pre-printed by the ULAM Supervisors

Animal Containment Housing Entry Procedures

The requirement for alternate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was not outlined previously. Examples of clothing that may need to be protected include religious or cultural dress. Standard prescription glasses are NOT considered a form of eye protection and are NO longer allowed in the biocontainment room.

  • If required PPE cannot be worn in a containment room, alternate applicable PPE approved by EHS must be purchased by the department and worn. If there is not an alternative available, then personnel must not work in containment areas. 
  • Approved eyewear includes:
    • Goggles or safety glasses worn alone or designed to be worn over prescription glasses
    • Prescription protective eyewear meeting ANSI Z87.1 can be obtained through the EHS Prescription Safety Glasses Program

Standard Husbandry and Substance Administration Practices

All substances, whether chemical or infectious, required 10 minute disinfection contact time between them. Now, ONLY infectious substances require 10 minute disinfection contact time.

  • Using different infectious agents: Disinfect between agents and allow 10 minutes of contact time
  • Using different chemical agents: Disinfect between agents, but the 10 minute contact time is NOT necessary 

Containment Husbandry Practices

The full name of the hazardous substance was not required to be listed on the water bottle. The old requirement also allowed water bottles to be sanitized every two weeks; now it is once a week. Previously, all cages had to be covered once removed from the Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC). Now, only infectious cages have to be covered. Chemical cages must still have the bedding removed.

  • Water bottles containing a hazardous substance must have a label on the bottle in which the full name of the substance, as well as the date of administration, is listed
  • All water bottles must be changed/sanitized once every week
  • Empty chemical hazard cages do NOT need to be covered when removed from the BSC
  • Infectious hazard cages need to be covered when removed from the BSC

Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) Procedures

EHS had to recertify the BSC when moved within the animal room. Now, the BSC has to be recertified ONLY when moved between buildings or rooms.

  • EHS must recertify any BSC that is moved between rooms or buildings.

Transport of Animals from Containment Rooms

Previously, animals had to be placed in a clean cage, secured, and covered when transported throughout the building. Now, all animals have to be placed in a clean cage, secured, and placed in a secondary container with absorbent material prior to transport.

  • If transporting animals to a laboratory space or to another building, the following procedures must be followed:
    • Animal must be placed in a clean transport cage and the cage should be wiped using a suitable disinfectant. The cage pieces should be secured by placing two rubber bands on the cage
    • The transport cage should be placed in a rigid, sealed secondary container with absorbent material on the bottom
    • Passenger elevators should be avoided
    • Investigative personnel must wipe down all transport containers, cages, and carts with a suitable disinfectant following transport

Animal Escape Procedures

This entire section has been added, there was no previous procedure.   

  1. Attempt to capture animals that have escaped from cages or observed free within the containment room
  2. Place a sign on the outside of the door noting "escaped animal"
  3. Keep doors closed during the trapping process
  4. Trap the animal inside an inverted cage
  5. Place the animal in a clean cage with food and water. Indicate that animal fell on floor and the cage must be changed last. See Rodent Husbandry SOP for more information
  6. Call the ULAM Husbandry Supervisor if the animal cannot be captured. The ULAM Husbandry Supervisor will set humane live traps in an attempt to capture the animal
  7. Notify EHS ( of any animal that cannot be captured

Disposition of Animals in a Large-Scale Emergency

This entire section has been added, there was no previous procedure.   

  1. Follow emergency or disaster response practices outlined in the ULAM document "Veterinarian Services and Animal Care Emergency Operations Plan"
    1. Maintain animals within appropriately controlled environmental conditions to safeguard both animal welfare and research integrity
    2. In the event that animal housing room conditions cannot be appropriately maintained, such as in the event of prolonged power failure, flood, or fire, conduct the following:
      1. Do not remove infected animals from the facility
      2. Follow euthanasia procedures (refer to Section J.) if acceptable environmental conditions cannot be maintained

Animal Euthanasia and Carcass Disposal

There was no previous requirement to clean gross contamination or disinfect euthanasia equipment.

  • Personnel must clean gross contamination from euthanasia equipment with appropriate disinfectant after use
  • Spray/wipe down euthanasia station components with appropriate disinfectant after use or as needed

Departing the Containment Room

There was no previous requirement to disinfect safety goggles or glasses prior to exiting the room.

  • Disinfect goggles or safety glasses prior to exiting the room

Spills of Hazardous Substances

Previously, spill volumes were not defined and spills occuring outside the BSC did not have to be reported to the ULAM Supervisor. Chemical hazard clean up did not specify soap and water. 

  • Report spills that occur outside the BSC to the ULAM Supervisor and EHS at
  • Minor spills are <200ml in volume. Major spills are >200ml in volume
  • Hazardous Chemicals: Clean spill with available soap and water. If personnel are not comfortable cleaning the spill, contact EHS at (734) 763-4568 for assistance

Storage of Hazardous Materials

This entire section has been added, there was no previous procedure.   

  1. Store diet containing a chemical hazard within the food storage coolers located in ULAM managed areas:
    1. Identify the cooler as a place to store diet containing a chemical hazard
    2. Place a chemical hazard sticker or symbol on the outside of the cooler door
    3. Indicate storage only; procedures must not occur in this space
  2. Storage of chemicals in the procedure room:
    1. Label the chemical container
    2. Provide access to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of the chemical within the procedure room
    3. For procedure rooms not approved for use with hazardous materials:
    4. Post a chemical sticker or symbol on the refrigerator or room to indicate "storage only"
    5. Procedures must not occur in this space