Animal Use Medical Screening (AUMS)
The animal use medical screening program evaluates and addresses the potential health risks of working with research animals.
Animal use medical screening (AUMS) must be offered to all faculty, staff, veterinary staff, animal husbandry staff and students who work directly with animals or unfixed animal tissues or body fluids, and to facilities and maintenance staff who enter the animal-care environment to evaluate and addresses the potential health risks of working with research animals.
Lab animal allergies
Allergies are the body’s immune response from exposure to proteins called allergens. In animal settings, allergen sources include dander, fur, scales, body wastes and saliva from animals. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health estimates that about one-third of animal handlers have allergic symptoms and about 10 percent have animal-induced asthma. The goal of the AUMS is to identify and reduce individual risk of developing lab animal allergies and to help prevent existing allergies from worsening.
Reducing exposure to animal allergens involves a global approach of raising awareness and implementing workplace controls, work practices and personal protective equipment (PPE). Workplace engineering controls include ventilation and biological safety cabinets. Work practice controls involve behaviors such as good hygiene and good housekeeping. PPE, such as a respirator, can help reduce inhalation of allergens.
As part of the AUMS process, an occupational health nurse will discuss your individual risk and methods for reducing exposure to animal allergens. If there is a need for a worksite evaluation or medical follow-up, we can refer you to the appropriate sources.
When is AUMS required?
If you plan to enter or work in an animal care and use environment, you must complete the online AUMS form:
- Prior to work in the animal care and use environment
- Every three years thereafter
- Any time a change in health status has occurred
- As otherwise directed by the occupational health nurse.
Annual in-person evaluations are completed for animal husbandry, veterinary and other designated research support staff. The occupational health nurse provides the Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) with a list of people who are cleared for work.
Contact an occupational health nurse at email@example.com or 206.221.7770 with any questions.
Steps to get AUMS clearance
- Complete and submit a confidential online AUMS form (UW NetID required).
- An EH&S occupational health nurse will screen your AUMS form and may contact you to discuss health issues, typically within one week.
- You will receive a clearance notification email from the EH&S occupational health nurse. This email will include a link to the electronic AUMS system, where you can access the clearance letter.
- The EH&S occupational health nurse will also notify OAW regarding your clearance status for work in the animal care and use environment.
- To renew, submit your AUMS form two to six months before the renewal or “recall date.” The recall date is listed on the clearance letter and is available in the AUMS electronic system.
See the AUMS FAQs for more information.
What you need to know
- If you plan to enter an animal care and use environment, you are required to submit a confidential AUMS form.
- Renew your AUMS form every three years or any time a change in your health status occurs.
Contact an EH&S occupational health nurse with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.221.7770.
What you can do to stay safe
- Follow the recommendations from the occupational health nurse.
- Adhere to any workplace safety practices and procedures to help reduce exposure to animal allergens.
EH&S provides consultation with an EH&S occupational health nurse.