Standards and Procedures

Chemical Review for Animal Users, Instructions for


The purpose of the chemical review is to verify that hazards related to the use of chemicals in animal studies have been identified, and procedures are in place to mitigate those hazards. Since research with animals can involve both a research laboratory and an animal care facility, chemical hazards and associated safety precautions and procedures will be reviewed for all relevant locations where the chemical(s) are stored, prepared, and used.

Note: Drugs used for routine veterinary care (analgesics, anesthetics, etc.) are exempt from the chemical review process and are not required to be listed in Section 7 of the IACUC protocol form.

Review Process Overview

  • The researcher lists potentially hazardous chemical(s) used in the animal protocol in Section 7 of the IACUC protocol form.
    Researchers completing an online IACUC protocol form will list each chemical used in the animal protocol that meets the characteristics outlined in the Hazard Classification for Chemicals Requiring Review section (below). In addition to the chemical name and CAS number, there will be several questions related to the administration/use of the chemical.
  • The researcher attaches SDS(s) and applicable SOP(s) to the protocol.
    For each chemical, the researcher should upload a (Material) Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and any corresponding safety-related Standard Operating Procedure(s) (SOPs) from their Laboratory Safety Plan that covers safety precautions for use of the chemical.
  • A DRS staff member reviews proposed chemical use.
    DRS will review the description of chemical use within the animal protocol. Safety SOPs and SDSs provided by the researcher will be included as part of the review. Questions may be posed during the review to clarify issues associated with the proposed work relative to proposed safety precautions.
  • Researcher reviews Animal Care Facility(ACF) chemical handling procedures and notes any necessary exceptions.
    If work with the chemical(s) will occur in the ACF, standard ACF safety precautions for use of chemicals should be reviewed by all researchers and staff with potential exposure. Any exceptions from established requirements must be communicated to ACF staff and documented.

Note: work with chemical hazards that require measures substantially different from established procedures may necessitate a meeting between DAR staff, research personnel, and safety professionals to ensure that the risk management strategy is understood by all parties. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Hazard Classification for Chemicals Requiring Review

Characteristics of chemicals that require review are based on hazard classifications defined within the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard 29 CFR 1910.1200 Appendix A: Health Hazard Criteria.

A. Chemicals that are identified as exhibiting acute toxicity. Acute yoxicity refers to those adverse effects occurring after oral or dermal administration of a single dose of a substance, or multiple doses given within 24 hours, or an inhalation exposure of 4 hours.

These chemicals may display the GHS Skull and Crossbones pictogram on the chemical label. Refer to Section 2: Hazards Identification of the SDS to determine if the chemical is defined as having Acute Toxicity.

Based on the defining criteria in the table below, chemicals that fall into these categories require review.

Acute Toxicity Criteria Table

Exposure Route/Category Category 1 Category 2 Category 3
Oral LD50: mg/kg ≤5 >5 and ≤50 >50 and ≤300
Skin contact LD50: mg/kg ≤50 >50 and ≤200 >200 and ≤1000
Inhalation LC50: (Gas) ppm V ≤100 >100 and ≤500 >500 and ≤2500
Inhalation (Vapors) LC50: mg/l ≤0.5 >0.5 and ≤2.0 >2.0 and ≤10.0
Inhalation (Dust & Mists) LC50: mg/l ≤0.05 >0.05 and ≤0.5 >0.5 and ≤1.0

The quantities for Oral and Dermal exposures in the table above are based on dose (mg) per bodyweight (kg) from Appendix A Table A.1.1 of 29 CFR 1910.1200 (GHS) which defines the categories of toxicity (or irritant). Chemical LD50 and LC50 data can be found in Section 11: Toxicological Information of the SDS.

All experimental compounds must be treated as having an Acute Toxicity until the hazard category is verified. Please contact the Laboratory Safety Section if you have any questions.

B. Chemicals that are identified as any of the following health hazards

  • Mutagen
  • Carcinogen
  • Reproductive Toxin
  • Target Organ Toxin

These chemicals may display the GHS Health Hazard pictogram on the chemical label. Refer to Section 2: Hazards Identification of the SDS to determine if the chemical is linked to these health hazards.

All categories associated with these health hazards will require a chemical review.

List of Example Chemicals (PDF)


Approved Date

Revised Date