Preventing Exposure to Animal Hides Contaminated with Anthrax

Some imported hides may contain anthrax spores, and although this is rare, there is no way to test for the presence of spores on hides.

To protect against anthrax spores, be sure to use hides that came from:

  • Animals from the United States
  • Animals that were imported with an international veterinary certificate showing that they have undergone the appropriate government inspection

This is the best way to make sure that the hides are free of anthrax spores. You can also treat the hides to reduce the risk of getting anthrax from handling them.

Safe workplace practices

A person washing hands with green soap.

In occupational environments, follow these safe workplace practices to reduce the risk of exposure to anthrax spores when you work with animal hides:

  • Work in a well-ventilated workspace
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including:
    1. Properly-fitted face mask or respirator (N-954)
    2. Eye protection
    3. Protective gloves
  • Regularly wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water
  • Avoid putting your fingers in your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Wear a designated pair of work shoes
  • Cover all exposed skin with clothing (pants, long sleeves)
  • Remove and launder your clothes (with regular detergent) onsite
  • Maintain a clean workspace
  • The workspace should be cleaned using a high-efficiency particulate air vacuum
  • Avoid vigorously shaking or beating hides, dry sweeping, or using compressed air
  • Avoid taking objects outside of the workspace

Protecting friends and family

A fun portrait of a multi-generational group of people.

Workers should also take steps to protect friends and family from potential anthrax exposure. This means following the steps you would take to protect yourself against anthrax.

You can further protect your friends and family by:

  • Avoiding taking objects from the workspace to other areas, including your house and vehicles
  • Avoiding working in areas where other people might be present
  • Telling your friends and family about the actions they can take to reduce their risk of getting anthrax