7.2.4 Animal Facilities (in addition to those listed for ABSL1)

  • A hand washing sink is located at the exit of the areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or are manipulated.  Additional sinks for hand washing should be located in other appropriate locations within the facility.  If the animal facility has segregated areas where infectious materials and/or animals are housed or manipulated, a sink must also be available for hand washing at the exit from each segregated area.
  • Sink traps are filled with water, and/or appropriate liquid to prevent the migration of vermin and gases. 
  • The animal facility is designed, constructed, and maintained to facilitate cleaning and housekeeping.  The interior surfaces (walls, floors, and ceilings) are water resistant.  It is recommended that penetrations in floors, walls and ceiling surfaces are sealed, to included openings around ducts, doors and door frames, to facilitate pest control and proper cleaning.  Floors must be slip resistant, impervious to liquids, and resistant to chemicals.
  • External windows are not recommended; if present, windows should be sealed and must be resistant to breakage.  The presence of windows may impact facility security and therefore should be assessed by security personnel.
  • Ventilation should be provided in accordance with the Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals contact Office of Animal Resources for more information.  The direction of airflow into the animal facility is inward; animal rooms should maintain inward directional airflow compared to adjoining hallways.  A ducted exhaust air ventilation system is provided.  Exhaust air is discharged to the outside without being recirculated to other rooms.  Ventilation system design should consider the heat and high moisture load produced during the cleaning of animal rooms and the cage wash process. 
  • Cages should be autoclaved or otherwise decontaminated prior to washing.  The mechanical cage washer should have a final rinse temperature of at least 180oF.  The cage wash area should be designed to accommodate the use of high pressure spray systems, humidity, strong chemical disinfectants and 180oF water temperatures, during the cage/equipment cleaning process. 
  • If BSCs are present, they must be installed so that fluctuations of the room air supply and exhaust do not interfere with proper operations.  BSCs should be located away from doors, heavily traveled laboratory areas, and other possible airflow disruptions.  HEPA filtered exhaust air from a Class II BSC can be safely re-circulated back into the laboratory environment if the cabinet is tested and certified at least annually and operated according to manufacturer’s recommendations.  BSCs can also be connected to the laboratory exhaust system by either a thimble (canopy) connection or a direct (hard) connection.  Provisions to assure proper safety cabinet performance and air system operation must be verified.  Correct performance of the BSCs should be recertified at least once a year.  
  • All BSCs should be used according to manufacturer’s recommendations, to protect the worker and avoid creating a hazardous environment from volatile chemicals and gases.
  • If vacuum service (i.e., central or local) is provided, each service connection should be fitted with liquid disinfectant traps and an inline HEPA filter, placed as near as practicable to each use point or service cock.  Filters are installed to permit in place decontamination and replacement.
  • An autoclave should be considered in the animal facility to facilitate decontamination of infectious materials and waste.