In this state the bedding is sanitary waste. It can be incinerated as medical waste but that is not required.
In every case that I have looked into for various drugs or carcinogens etc. used in our resear ch the literature states that unmetabolized toxicants (or even toxic metabolites) “may” be present in the bedding or that it is “unknown” if toxicants are present in the bedding. Based on that, from an occupational safety standpoint we should “assume” that it is present and take proper precautions. My 2 cents worth.
The cages are dumped at a ventilated cage dump station or the bedding is bagged in a fume hood or ve ntilated BSC. If these engineering controls are utilized then respiratory protection should not be necessary but can be used volunt arily by animal care personnel or lab workers. Beyond that safety glasses o r goggles, gloves and a lab coat or disposable gown are used.
Hi Janice- p>
In terms of the bedding handli ng, how do you treat the bedding? As hazardous waste if it is a hazar dous chemical? Is only the first cage change after drug administratio n treated as hazardous? Do the staff ever wear more than nitrile glove s, goggles, lab coats? Do they have to do the bedding change in a fumehood, ducted BSC? What kind of extra protection would be affor ded the animal care husbandry staff if deemed necessary (e.g., double gloves, respirators?)
Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**list.uvm.edu]
On Behalf Of Dodge, Janice
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 2:26 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety and Lab Animals
Our Biosafety Officer and Lab Safety Officer review all proposed animal use protocols wherein resear ch animals are treated with chemicals or other hazardous agents. We have provided all researchers with a description of ̶ 0;standard precautions” which they may check on their protocol form if they think no extra precautionary measures are needed for the work beyond standard lab and animal care PPE and handling protocols. If they are using agents that require protective methods beyond the standa rd, they must submit an appendix to the animal care protocol (we’ll h elp them write this) describing the extra precautions needed, eg. work only in a BSC or fume hood, special PPE, special practices or disposal steps, certain types of posting, extra training or s upervision, emergency response procedures.
Often the researchers bel ieve standard precautions are adequate and we do not. Then we ask the m to “beef up” their protocols and tell them how and why.   ; They have to do this to get approval of the animal use in their experiments by the IACUC.
These reviews take some t
ime because we have to research the hazards related to the particular agent
s. We look at degree of toxicity, method of administration,
number of doses, amount likely to be excreted in bedding (if known), lengt
h of treatment, number of animals, as well as work practices and potential
for injury or exposure…in other words we perform a risk assessment.
This program has worked p retty well for us. It’s time consuming, but we have much better protection of our workers, in particular our animal care staff, than we once did. Researchers tend to ignore what happens after they walk away from the rat. If they are asked to think about the ultimate fat e of a chemical injected IP or subcutaneously in a rat, they simply say tha t the doses are small (rats are small, right?) so small amounts of chemicals could not possible effect humans (even thoug h they are used in the experiment to have a biological effect and many rats are injected at once, perhaps for days or weeks).
I hope this helps.
Janice Dodge span>
Laboratory Safety Officer
Florida State University
I am trying to get information from peer institutions about how they manage worker safety in regard to exposure to c hemicals administered to lab animals. Does anyone have any expertise in this issue?
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