Changes to Hazardous Agents Administration SOP Procedures

March 1, 2019

New Containment SOP Procedures SignIn order to maintain a safe and secure environment for both research personnel and the animals under our care, the Animals Administered a Hazardous Substance Requiring Containment Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has recently been updated.

These changes affect all personnel who:

  • Are involved in animal cage changing,
  • Use equipment contaminated with hazardous substances, and/or
  • Are involved in the administration of hazardous substances to animals.

All individuals, including ULAM husbandry staff and research personnel, are expected to adhere to the new and revised procedures outlined in the updated SOP by Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

For your convenience, posters summarizing key SOP changes (also highlighted below) will be placed in affected animal care and use facilities later this month.

To ensure proper compliance, everyone who is, or will be, performing procedures that involve the handling of animals or animal equipment contaminated with hazardous substances must read the SOP in its entirety.

Summary of Changes

  Handling Naïve Animals  

Information about proper handling of naïve animals — an animal that has NOT been administered an infectious hazard, human-derived substance, or chemical hazard/toxin — has been added and further clarified.

  Transporting Rats Housed in 1800 Cages  

Rats normally housed in 1800 cages must be placed in Standard #3 rat cages for transport lasting less than 24 hours. Rats must be placed back into 1800 cages when returned to the containment housing room.

  Transporting Cages to Cage Wash  

All empty cages must be checked for animals
BEFORE transporting to cage wash.

  Wiping Down Cages Before Transport  

Cages being transported to a procedure room within the vivarium do NOT need to be wiped down within the Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) if the cages are staying within the facility.

The outside of cages being removed from the housing room must still be wiped down with a suitable disinfectant, but wipe down does NOT need to occur within the BSC.

  Handling Combination Infectious /
Chemical Hazard Spills

Contact the Department of Environment, Health & Safety (EHS)
at (734) 763-4568 to get the appropriate clean-up procedures for spills containing a combination of infectious AND chemical hazard(s).

  Separate Sharps Containers
for Separate Hazards

Rooms will have only ONE individual sharps container for each INDIVIDUAL type of hazardous substance (e.g., infectious agents or hazardous chemicals and toxins) present.

Therefore, if a room has ONLY ONE type of hazard (infectious or chemical),
you will see only ONE sharps container.

  Use Acetates to Identify Rodent Pathogens /
Note Cage Change Order

All cages must be labeled when ANY type of hazard is administered to animals. IN ADDITION, a change first acetate must be placed if administering rodent pathogens MNV or Helicobacter. If administering any other type of rodent pathogen, a change last acetate must be placed.

This information is critical to ensuring that ULAM husbandry personnel are made aware of the types of hazardous substances being administered so that they may change cages in a manner that minimizes or eliminates cross-contamination.

(See Appendix G in the SOP for pictures of appropriate labeling techniques)

  Handling Rodent Pathogens  

The updated Infectious Agent Form now includes information on where to find the proper instructions for handling specific rodent pathogens, which must be handled differently from other infectious hazards. 

  Preparing Biological Safety Cabinets for Use   

Prior to manipulating cages, the interior surface of the Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) must be wiped with a wet paper towel or similar wet wipe to remove any organic debris.

The BSC must then be sanitized with Clidox or a freshly prepared Bleach solution by wetting then wiping the horizontal work surface, as well as the side and back walls, with gloved hands.

  Labeling Naïve Animal Cages  

Use an additional cage card placed vertically behind the original cage card,
or a yellow acetate placed over the cage card, to identify hazardous substances (biological, infectious, or chemical) that have been administered
to the animals.

Husbandry personnel will place yellow acetates stating "naïve animals" if they receive new arrivals; labs will place the acetates if they are moving cages INTO containment housing from another room.

(See Appendix G in the SOP for pictures of appropriate labeling techniques)

  Disposing of Uncontaminated Waste  

If ONLY chemical hazards are present in a housing room (i.e., an Infectious Waste Container is NOT present), non-sharp disposable materials believed to be free of contamination from hazardous substances may be placed in the Chemical Hazard Waste Container.


Questions or Concerns?


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