Policy on Personal Hygiene Requirements When Conducting Animal Activities

Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee
Nov 20, 2023 12:00 am

An important factor in protecting the health of personnel engaged in animal activities is personal hygiene. This policy outlines the important hygiene practices that must be followed to mitigate risks against zoonotic agents found naturally in experimental animals as well as hazardous materials used experimentally in approved studies.


    Dedicated Work Uniform (DWU)

    Clothing that is designated as personal protective equipment (PPE), not worn outside of the work setting, and laundered using in-house facilities or by a professional laundry service.

    Examples include lab coats and scrubs used as PPE.

  • Applicability

    This policy is applicable to all vertebrate animal activities conducted under the auspices of the University, and applies to all campus locations under the purview of the U-M IACUC.


  • Policy

    1. Wash and/or disinfect hands as often as necessary to maintain good hygiene (e.g., after manipulating animals);
    2. After handling animals or animal waste, do not wear dedicated work uniforms (DWU) in public spaces, other than when traveling between animal spaces. DWUs must not be worn home, but rather laundered by husbandry staff using in-house facilities, or by professional laundry services, or, for ULAM personnel, laundered using in-house facilities;
    3. Food and/or beverages intended for human consumption are not permitted in any animal use or housing areas; and
    4. Using tobacco products or applying cosmetics is not permitted in any animal use or housing areas.

    Research conducted in the field presents unique situations and requires appropriate planning. Strategies for ensuring proper hygiene in the field must follow EHS recommendations. EHS provides guidance for field researchers on their website (https://ehs.umich.edu/research-clinical/field-research/) and is available for individual consultation.

  • Compliance

    The IACUC has been delegated authority by EHS to enforce the provisions of this policy and, if necessary, suspend research or implement sanctions if policy infractions should occur. The delegation includes but is not limited to:

    1. Monitoring activities covered by this policy;
    2. Enforcing the implementation of the defined biosafety requirements; and
    3. Implementing sanctions and/or suspensions.

For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Assistant Vice President for Research, Director of the Animal Care and Use Office at acuoffice@umich.edu or (734) 763-8028.