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Guide for the Care and use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition
Besch 1981; Rasmussen et al. 2009), and increased blood pressure in nonhuman primates (Peterson et al. 1981)—and may necessitate hearing protection for personnel (OSHA 1998). Many species can hear sound frequencies inaudible to humans (Brown and Pye 1975; Heffner and Heffner 2007); rodents, for example, are very sensitive to ultrasound (Olivier et al. 1994). The potential effects of equipment (such as video display terminals; Sales 1991; Sales et al. 1999) and materials that produce noise in the hearing range of nearby animals can thus become an uncontrolled variable for research experiments and should therefore be carefully considered (Turner et al. 2007; Willott 2007). To the greatest extent possible, activities that generate noise should be conducted in rooms or areas separate from those used for animal housing.
Because changes in patterns of sound exposure have different effects on different animals (Armario et al. 1985; Clough 1982), personnel should try to minimize the production of unnecessary noise. Excessive and intermittent noise can be minimized by training personnel in alternatives to noisy practices, the use of cushioned casters and bumpers on carts, trucks, and racks, and proper equipment maintenance (e.g., castor lubrication). Radios, alarms, and other sound generators should not be used in animal rooms unless they are part of an approved protocol or enrichment program. Any radios or sound generators used should be switched off at the end of the working day to minimize associated adverse physiologic changes (Baldwin 2007).
While some vibration is inherent to every facility and animal housing condition, excessive vibration has been associated with biochemical and reproductive changes in laboratory animals (Briese et al. 1984; Carman et al. 2007) and can become an uncontrolled variable for research experiments. The source of vibrations may be located within or outside the animal facility. In the latter case, groundborne vibration may affect both the structure and its contents, including animal racks and cages. Housing systems with moving components, such as ventilated caging system blowers, may create vibrations that could affect the animals housed within, especially if not functioning properly. Like noise, vibration varies with intensity, frequency, and duration. A variety of techniques may be used to isolate groundborne (see Chapter 5) and equipment-generated vibration (Carman et al. 2007). Attempts should be made to minimize the generation of vibration, including from humans, and excessive vibration should be avoided.
Microenvironment (Primary Enclosure)
All animals should be housed under conditions that provide sufficient space as well as supplementary structures and resources required to meet