8-Health risks, waste disposal and decontamination

Planning an animal study must include a risk assessment, because of both the potential dangers to health from working directly or indirectly with animals or animal material.

A common factor for many of the health hazards (e.g. micro-organisms and radiation) is that they are difficult to detect. This places a great responsibility upon those who are involved in the hazardous activity, or who have enough knowledge to predict it, and those who are charged with the tasks of containment after accidents and subsequent decontamination. Openness is vital.

General principles
For fish researchers

Much of this waste may be potentially hazardous, possibly invoking new routines and extra expenditure for the facility. It may be particularly expensive to dispose of the carcasses of large animals, large numbers of animals such as fish, or large volumes of effluent or tank water. Even if waste material is not classified as hazardous, it may pose a risk to waste disposal personnel if it is not suitably contained. For example, dust from laboratory animal bedding may trigger allergy or asthma if transported in unsealed containers.

See also the separate section on health and safety on this website and section 8B of PREPARE.

This page was updated on 08 July 2021

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