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Evaluation of Ambient Sound, Vibration, and Light in Rodent Housing Rooms

Barabas, Amanda J, Darbyshire, Amanda K, Schlegel, Sylvia L and Gaskill, Brianna N (2022) Evaluation of Ambient Sound, Vibration, and Light in Rodent Housing Rooms. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. ISSN 1559-6109


Excessive sound, vibration, and light are detrimental to rodent welfare, yet these parameters are rarely recorded in vivaria. Whether housing environments exceed the suggested thresholds and which specific factors may alter these parameters is generally unknown. The goal of this study was to determine how environmental factors may alter sound, vibration, and light at the room and cage levels. Measurements were made using an ultrasonic microphone, accelerometer, and light sensor. Measurement sites were 1) in open air at a central location in 64 rooms located in 9 buildings, and 2) inside an empty mouse or rat cage containing chow, water, and bedding and located on an animal transfer station (n = 51) or housing rack (n = 102). Information collected for each transfer station and rack measurement included the year of manufacture, the species on the rack, and the number of cages on the rack. For each location, a baseline measurement was taken with the transfer station turned off, followed by another measurement after the transfer station was turned on. In general, many factors influenced ambient sound, vibration, and light, indicating that values are not uniform across rodent rooms in the same institution or across cages in a single room. Sound peaks capable of startling rodents were measured in association with hallway ultrasonic motion sensors and during cage change. Vibration and light intensity were generally low when cages were located on the rack. In contrast, active transfer stations had more vibration and light intensity, reaching levels that were potentially stressful for rodents. These data reflect the ambient sound, vibration, and light that rodents experience during normal facility operations. These patterns may extend to other locations, but given the variability in all parameters, the data highlight the need for institutions to conduct their own monitoring.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2022 00:46
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2022 00:46


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