Animal Care Facilities

Lab directors (faculty/lab managers/supervisors) may house animals administered radioactive material in general animal care facilities that are used by other ab directors at the same time, as long as proper measures are taken as described below.

Determining the Type of Animal Care Facility to Use

The purpose of animal care facilities is to maintain personnel health and safety when working with animals and radioactive material.  All animals are housed in cages; however, where the cages are placed in the room depends on the amount of radioactive material an animal has received and excreted each day.  Based on careful placement of the cage within the room, some animals can be placed in general animal care facilities.  However, in certain instances where isolation within the room is not possible while maintaining a safe work environment, the cage may need to be placed into an isolation facility.

The following table identifies the documents to use to determine the type of animal care facility needed for animals receiving radioactive material:

Radiotoxicity of the radionuclide(s) being used Table 1: RADIONUCLIDE TOXICITY CLASSIFICATION
Maximum activity excreted daily per cage or per facility Table 2: MAXIMUM PERMITTED DAILY ACTIVITY EXCRETION

Facility Safety Hazard Signage

Facilities housing animals require proper posting if radioactive material is present in quantities equal to or exceeding the quantities listed in Table 3: POSTING LIMITS FOR RADIONUCLIDES. The signage must be posted outside the animal care facility in order to alert anyone entering and must display the radiation hazard symbol and the words “CAUTION – RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL.”

NOTE: After the animal(s), cages, or both contain quantities of radioactive material less than the quantities listed in Table 3: POSTING LIMITS FOR RADIONUCLIDE the facility will no longer require posting.


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