Approximately one third of laboratory animal workers have occupational allergy to animal danders, and a third of these have symptomatic asthma. Sensitization generally occurs with the first 3 years of employment; and risk factors include atopic background, as well as job description as it relates to the intensity of exposure. A symptomatic worker can reduce allergen exposure with personal protective devices. A laboratory can further reduce exposure with generally available equipment, such as laminar flow caging, and procedures, such as frequent wet washing of vivaria and careful maintenance of ventilation systems. It is advisable to institute periodic medical screening of all laboratory animal workers with questionnaires and allergy skin testing in addition to providing them with training programs to reduce personal exposure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy