Office of Research IACUC Protocols Involving Hazardous Materials - Office of Research

IACUC Protocols Involving Hazardous Materials


To describe the UC Davis IACUC procedures for reviewing Animal Care and Use Protocols (ACUP) and amendments that involve the use of Hazardous Materials and requirements for all personnel working with hazardous material in campus vivaria. This includes handling animals, bedding or cages contaminated with a hazardous material.


Animal Care and Use Protocols that involve the use of hazardous chemicals, biohazardous material, and/or radioisotopes will be provided to the appropriate unit in Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) to ensure that the necessary authorizations are in place and that there is an established plan for working safely with the material within the vivarium. All applicable “use authorizations” must be in place prior to the IACUC approving the ACUP or associated amendment.

Each ACUP must clearly identify the type of hazardous material being used, where it is being used and if the agent poses a potential risk to individuals or other animals in the vivarium. When there is a risk of exposure within the vivarium, a Vivarium Hazard Safety Sheet (VHSS) (attachment 1) must be filled out and included with the ACUP.

It is the Principal Investigator’s (PI’s) and research staff’s responsibility to notify the animal facility manager when a project with hazardous material will begin.  This notification is part of the hazard communication process and must occur prior to the hazardous materials being used both within the vivarium space or with the animals. This will help to ensure that the necessary signage is in place, animal care staff are notified, personal protective equipment (PPE) is available, and any special husbandry requirements (e.g., bedding disposal) are in place.

In general, hazardous materials for the research projects cannot be stored in the vivarium. Any storage needs to be approved by the vivarium manager and storage must be in a manner consistent with EH&S SafetyNet #42 General Guidelines for Storage and Management of Laboratory Chemicals and the UC Davis Chemical and Laboratory Safety Manual.


A. Protocol Form – Initial Review

  1. During pre-review IACUC staff will verify that the hazardous material has been identified and that the appropriate box has been checked (i.e., infectious agents, radioisotopes, chemical carcinogens, recombinant DNA, or hazardous chemicals) and that the supplemental “VHSS” sheet has been completed and attached to section 8 of the ACUP.
  2. Protocols with hazardous material will be sent to the appropriate office in EH&S to verify that the appropriate Use Authorizations are in place (when required) and the VHSS is accurate.
  3. The IACUC will not approve the ACUP until all relevant Use Authorizations are in place and/or EH&S has signed off on the VHSS.

B. Protocol Form – After Approval

  1. Following protocol approval by the IACUC, the protocol with the relevant VHSS will be available to the PI and relevant staff through the IACUC online system.
  2. The PI or research staff will notify the vivarium manager prior to initiating the component of the project with the hazardous material. They will also make sure to label cage cards/cages with appropriate hazard symbols (as applicable according to VHSS) date, agent, dose, route, and clearance date if applicable (examples of cage cards can be found below).
  3. The vivarium managers will use the information on the VHSS to create the appropriate animal room door posting and ensure staff have access to the safety information and are provided training if they will be handling the animals and cages.

C. Cage Card Examples

  1. Biohazard
  2. Chemical Hazards
  3. Radiation Hazard
  4. Toxic Hazard
  5. Biohazard and Chemical Hazard
  6. Biohazard Toxic and Chemical Hazard Combination

IV. References:

  1. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, Eight Edition
  2. Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals

Procedure: IACUC-49
Date: November 05, 2015
Enabled By: Guide
Supersedes: New