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Laboratory animal allergy: an occupational hazard.
Workplace Health Saf 2007 Jun; 55(6):241-244
Laboratory animal allergy is a relatively common work-related condition that can result in serious consequences for affected workers' health. Research institutions are also negatively impacted by laboratory animal allergy through lost productivity, increased workload for others, and increased health care costs (Wolfle & Bush, 2001; Wood, 2001). Since 1989, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recognized laboratory animal allergy as an occupational hazard (Bush, 2001). It is estimated that one-third of laboratory animal workers will develop laboratory animal allergy symptoms, and more than 10% of those workers will develop occupational asthma, persisting even after exposure to the offending allergen ends (Gordon & Preece, 2003). This article describes the general physiological mechanisms responsible for laboratory animal allergy and risk factors for developing the condition. Common routes of exposure are described with indications for how occupational health nurses can prevent and manage this condition in the workplace.
Animals; Laboratory-animals; Workers; Work-environment; Work-areas; Allergens; Allergic-reactions; Allergies; Laboratories; Humans; Men; Women; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Bronchial-asthma; Physiological-effects; Physiology
Issue of Publication
Workplace Health & Safety
University of Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division