People who work with animals have an occupational risk of allergies, which can lead to occupational asthma. To prevent asthma, it is important to find individuals who are starting to have allergy symptoms when they work with animals. By identifying these people and helping protect them with a special respirator, we can reduce their exposure to animal allergens and reduce their risk of asthma.
Animal caretakers, veterinarians, vet assistants, and other workers in the Division of Animal Care, as well as researchers who work with vertebrates, are required by IACUC policy to participate in the animal allergy screening program by submitting an animal allergen questionnaire annually. If an employee prefers not to fill out the allergen questionnaire, an Animal Allergen Declination Statement is required. These forms can be faxed to OHC at 936-0966.
Those reporting significant animal allergy symptoms will be contacted to get further information and we may refer the person to VEHS Biosafety to be fitted for a respirator. OHC can also assist with providing medical treatment when necessary.