Chemical Hazards in Animals: Safety Review

The University of Florida requires the Chemical Hygiene Program for all UF employees and affiliates (students, volunteers, contractors, etc.) who work with chemicals in laboratory settings, including animal research areas. This program replaces the UF Hazard Communication and/or Right-to-Know programs for laboratories. Investigators are also required to report the use of chemical hazards in animals in their IACUC protocol.

As a major research and medical university, many protocols at the University of Florida use chemicals known to be hazardous to human, animal, and environmental health. Over the years, there has been a steady increase in the number of IACUC protocols approved to use chemicals with 204 new protocols approved to use one or more chemicals in 2015.

During the protocol development/approval phase, a risk assessment of each chemical hazard is conducted by the research staff, EH&S, IACUC, and the ACS veterinary staff. When working with chemicals, occupational health risks for both research and animal care staff arise from:

  • Toxicity, half-life and metabolic byproducts of the compound
  • Methods of preparation
  • Concentration and method of administration
  • Amount of material excreted


Waste Anesthetic Gases (WAG)

Waste anesthetic gases (WAGs) are volatile anesthetic gases (e.g., isoflurane, nitrous oxide, desflurane, and sevoflurane) used during a medical or surgical procedure to alleviate pain and/or distress. Click here to access a document that outlines the occupational hazards associated with exposure to WAGs, which may result in adverse health effects.


Additional Resources:

UF EH&S Chemical Hygiene Plan

ACS Chemical Hazard SOP (Template available soon)

Common Chemical Hazards

Rodent Housing Procedures & Practices