and behaviors of the animals, they must
be controlled and monitored to ensure
they are within an acceptable range.
Of equal or greater interest should
be contaminant levels within the facilities that can influence the health and
well-being of the animals and personnel
working in these facilities.
Elevated VOC levels result in
unpleasant odors and can lead to long-
term health effects. Understanding the
exposure levels, identifying the source,
and notifying appropriate personnel in
a timely manner, allows for corrective
action to be taken. Monitoring the trend
in TVOCs can also serve as a proxy for
ammonia levels and provide an indica-
tion when bedding should be changed
Lastly, CO2 levels should be moni-
tored even though ventilation rates in
an open lab are generally sufficient; the
presence of CO2 for euthanasia should be
sufficient to warrant a measurement so as
not to adversely impact the health of the
Monitoring pollutant levels, notifying personnel, even overriding the
ventilation rate to purge should be part
of the room-level monitoring and control strategy to protect the animals and
VOCs, respirable airborne particles, and
CO2 levels of individual spaces. This can
provide valuable insight as to whether
there are issues with fugitive emissions,
protocols not being adhered to, filters, or
the ventilation system itself that could
adversely impact the IEQ. The question
is how to do so in an efficient and cost-effective manner?
Manually monitoring and record-
ing all the parameters that can impact
acceptable IEQ levels would require a
trained individual, or team of people,
armed with an array of handheld instru-
ments to go from room to room to make
half a dozen measurements.
or some independent monitoring system.
There is a substantial cost to acquire
the number of sensors of the appropriate
types and install them in each space to
be monitored. These sensors then need
to be connected to some central monitoring system and programming would
need to provide monitoring, trending,
and event notification protocols.
There is sufficient research to suggest that sensors of this type require
periodic calibration, on the order of once
How Much is Enough?
The reasons to monitor are many; the
questions come down to: How much?
How often? What’s it going to cost—
both to install and maintain?
The need to monitor the basic climate conditions; temperature, humidity,
ventilation rates, and sometimes relative
pressurization and light levels are well
documented. The questions that need to
be answered include: If there are other
parameters that could influence the
health and well-being of the animals or
personnel likely to be present—shouldn’t
those be monitored as well? If a system
failure, a release, or spill occurs, how
long is it acceptable that it goes undetected? In environments with redundant
air handlers, fans and emergency power
systems, where the expectation is 24/7
up-time, is it acceptable to rely on a
single sensor for critical environmental
measurements in each space? What is
it worth to the organization to monitor pollutant levels to enable corrective
action to be taken to avoid compromising a research program and providing
a healthy and productive environment
for personnel? What is the cost to the
organization of having an IEQ issue and
not knowing about it?
Odors and airborne contaminants
are common in vivaria—they exist. A
comprehensive IEQ monitoring solution can, in addition to monitoring
temperature and humidity, also monitor
The NuAire® AllerGard™ NU-619 Innovive® Edition Animal Transfer Station is specifically designed
to work with Innovive® Disposal IVC Caging System for mice and rats for maximum efficiency. The
NU-619 provides ISO Class 4 Sterility for research animals while minimizing the technicians exposure
to allergens and dander.
Open cages under ISO Class 4 sterile
conditions and place clean cages in a
deep well for easy access. Place the bag
in the other deep well or exterior shelf to
collect dirty used cages.
Open feeder bags under ISO Class 4
sterile conditions and stack feeders in
hoppers located on both sides of the
work zone until use.
Open AQUAVIVE® Pre-filled mouse or rat
water bottles under ISO Class 4 sterile
conditions by removing peel-away tab
and place on AQUAVIVE® pre-filled water
bottle holding rack until use.
Learn more online
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