animal alLergens
exposure testing

Are your team suffering from the effects of exposure to animal allergens?


Laboratory animal allergy (LAA) is an allergic hypersensitivity response which may develop as a result of exposure to animal allergens. Approximately 20% of people who work with laboratory animals experience some allergic symptoms due to contact with, or inhalation of, animal allergens.

These symptoms are typically rhinitis (runny or stuffy nose), conjunctivitis (watery or prickly eyes) and skin rashes. About 10% of all those who work with laboratory animals develop the serious symptoms of asthma.

The main, but not the only, sources of animal allergens are urine, fur, hair, dander, saliva, droppings and serum. The majority of cases of allergic disease among laboratory animal workers are caused by rats and mice, probably because these are the animals most commonly used in experimental work.

Other species such as guinea pigs, cats, insects and shellfish can also cause respiratory and skin allergies in some individuals.

Actions and Advice Actions and advice

COSHH requires employers to carry out an assessment of the risks to the health of employees which may be caused by hazardous substances present in the workplace. Employers will need to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment wherever exposure to animal allergens is likely to occur.

There is no occupational exposure limit (OEL) designated for animal allergens but, as sensitising substances under COSHH, exposure to them should be reduced to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

Help How can we help?

As certified occupational hygiene specialists we have a deep understanding of exposure risks and control, we can help with monitoring exposure levels and provide guidance on effective controls

For further help call us on 0870 7019170 or email:



Knowledge Centre Article

Expand your knowledge on this topic by reading our informative article

Understanding and Managing Animal Allergens Exposure in Work Environments
Understanding and Managing Animal Allergens Exposure in Work Environments


In the realm of occupational health, exposure to animal allergens poses a significant concern for individuals working closely with laboratory animals. Laboratory Animal Allergy (LAA) is an allergic hypersensitivity response that may develop due to prolonged exposure to animal allergens.

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