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?



Knowledge Centre Article

Expand your knowledge on this topic by reading our informative article

Exposure to Sensitisers & Occupational Asthma
Exposure to Sensitisers & Occupational Asthma


As part of our workplace exposure testing and assessment service for clients, we often come across a frequent misunderstanding of what substances are sensitisers and the role that they play in Occupational Asthma.

If your business involves manufacturing, fabrication, welding or is based in a factory or warehouse, its very important you understand what Occupational Asthma is and how it is caused. It is now officially the most common work-related lung disease in the UK.

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