2001 Volume 50 Issue 5 Pages 379-385
Although isolation racks are superior to open-type racks in terms of securing breeding conditions for laboratory animals, the contingency-proofing capability of the former has yet to be determined. Therefore, from the view of risk management, we studied the environmental change in isolation racks by forcibly suspending ventilation and air-conditioning and confirming the maximal time length for complete recovery to the original condition after restarting their operations. The isolation racks were placed in a room that was equipped with an independent air-conditioning system. When the inside condition of the racks reached 22-24°C and 59-64% of relative humidity, the air-conditioning and ventilation were forcibly suspended and the subsequent temperature, relative humidity, ammonium and CO2 concentrations in the racks were measured over time. We found that after suspending the air-conditioning and ventilation, it took 40-60 min for temperature, and about 10 min for relative humidity to exceed the maximum values (temperature and relative humidity) referred to in the Showa 58 Nenban Guideline Jikken Doubutsu Shisetsu no Kenchiku oyobi Setsubi (Guidelines of buildings and facilities for experimental animals in Japan; Year 1983 edition). After 17 hr 25 min of the suspension of air-conditioning and ventilation, two rats were found dead. Then, the air-conditioning and ventilation were restarted. It took about 2 hr for temperature, and 50 min for relative humidity to regain the guideline values. The ammonium concentration stayed within the guideline value with a maximum concentration of 2 ppm in the experimental period, whereas the CO2 concentration was found to exceed 9% at the time of animal death.