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Lab Anim Sci. 1989 May;39(3):237-42.

An evaluation of intra-cage ventilation in three animal caging systems.

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  • 1Department of Comparative Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey 17033.


Although temperature and relative humidity have been quantitated and their effects on research data studied, few studies have measured the air turnover rates at cage level. We evaluated the air distribution and air turnover rates in unoccupied shoe-box mouse cages, filter-top covered cages and shoe-box mouse cages housed in a flexible film isolator by using discontinuous gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and smoke. Results showed that air turnover was most rapid in the unoccupied shoe-box mouse cage and slowest in the filter-top covered cage. Placing mice in the filter-top covered cage did not significantly improve the air turnover rate. Although filter-top covered cages reduce cage-to-cage transmission of disease, the poor airflow observed within these cages could lead to a buildup of gaseous pollutants that may adversely affect the animal's health.

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