In all circumstances, research and animal care personnel must wear a disposable jumpsuit or lab coat, shoe coverings, hair covering, gloves, and a respiratory comfort mask when entering DLAM animal housing facilities or procedure rooms (refer to Chapter 14: Safe Handling of Laboratory Animals). As discussed in Chapter 5, comfort masks and surgical masks are not respirators. The comfort masks and surgical masks provided in several DLAM facilities do not protect you from airborne exposures; instead, they protect the lab animals from your exhalations. Personnel engaged in procedures with exposure to airborne particulates contaminated with highly toxic chemicals or select carcinogens must wear an appropriate respirator of N95 or higher protection, rather than a comfort mask or surgical mask. Refer to the Respiratory Protection section of Chapter 5: Protective Clothing and Equipment, for a description of respirator types. The use of primary containment may eliminate the need to wear a respirator.

EHS must approve the selection and use of respirators, and wearers are to participate in the UNC Respiratory Protection Program.

Do not wear masks or respirators outside of the animal room or procedure room. For tight-fitting cartridge respirators, dispose of used filters and decontaminate the respirator housing daily.