Use of Hazardous Materials

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General Policy

All animal protocols that involve the use of:

  • biohazardous agents (including recombinant DNA)
  • hazardous chemicals
  • particularly carcinogens
  • mutagens
  • teratogens
  • radioisotopes
  • lasers

Must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate safety officers and/or safety committees prior to initiation of the protocol. Biohazardous agents are defined as infectious agents (e.g., viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic), toxin-producing agents, either isolated naturally or constructed by recombinant DNA technology (e.g., viral gene therapy vectors), or human material, including both primary and established human cell lines, that have the potential for causing diseases in healthy persons, animals, or plants.

The IACUC will forward a copy of submitted protocols involving any of the various safety considerations referenced above to the appropriate safety officers for review, with the exception of protocols involving recombinant DNA. This policy documents the steps necessary for submitting protocols to the various entities for safety review and approval. Any protocol using a hazardous material will not receive IACUC approval until after approved by the appropriate safety office.

Infectious Agents and Recombinant DNA

All animal protocols involving the use of infectious agents or recombinant DNA must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC.

The Principal Investigator on the protocol is responsible for ensuring that laboratory personnel are trained in the safe use, handling, and disposal of the agent(s) involved. The veterinarian is similarly responsible for ensuring that animal husbandry and veterinary staff are trained in the same manner. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn at all times when handling infectious agents, recombinant DNA, and infected animals, their tissues, and wastes.

Hazardous Chemicals Including Carcinogens, Mutagens and Teratogens

All animal protocols involving the use of hazardous chemicals, carcinogens, mutagens or teratogens, must be reviewed and approved by the Environmental Health and Safety Office. A copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) must be kept on file in the laboratory for each toxic chemical and carcinogen used. The Principal Investigator is responsible for ensuring that laboratory personnel develop and adhere to a standard operating procedure for use of the substance, and for training laboratory personnel in the proper use and disposal of the substance. The veterinarian is similarly responsible for ensuring that animal husbandry and veterinary staff is trained in the same manner. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn at all times when handling hazardous chemicals, carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens, and exposed animals, their tissues, and wastes.

Radioisotopes

All animal protocols involving the use of radioisotopes must be reviewed and approved by the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO). The protocol must include an investigator who holds a radioisotopes permit for the radioactive material involved. All workers handling the radioactive material must demonstrate appropriate training and knowledge, to be assessed by the RSO. Appropriate PPE and radiation exposure badges must be worn at all times when handling radioactive material and animals, their tissues, and wastes. Radioactive materials, animal carcasses, waste and bedding, as well as other potentially contaminated materials, must be disposed of in accordance with institution policies.

Lasers

All research proposals involving the use of lasers must be reviewed and approved by the Environmental Health and Safety Office. All workers using the laser or in the immediate vicinity of its use must demonstrate appropriate training and knowledge in the use of the particular laser, to be assessed by the RSO. Appropriate PPE must be worn at all times when lasers are being used.

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