Radiation Safety

Radiation Safety Officer
Michael Gleason
gleasomj@udmercy.edu
313-494-6636

Radiation safety at the University is governed by a material license granted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This license must be periodically renewed by the University and spells out in detail the duties and obligations of the University in handling these materials. The following general information is contained in the license.

Duties of the Radiation Safety Officer

The Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) will be responsible to the President of the University of Detroit Mercy for radiation safety at the University. It will be the responsibility of the RSO to recommend procedures for the construction of working areas and protection facilities, procurement, safe handling, monitoring, use and disposal of all radioactive sources. The RSO will be responsible for a periodic radiation survey of all lab areas employing a radiation source. It will be his responsibility to maintain records of receipt, use, and disposal of all radioactive materials. The RSO must be notified in case of accidents involving radioactive materials and will be responsible for the primary considerations involved in the prevention of the spread of contamination. The RSO may have one or more deputies.

Procedures for Opening Packages Containing Radioactive Material

1. Visually inspect package for any sign of damage (e.g., wetness, crushed). If damage is noted stop procedure and notify Radiation Safety Officer.
2. Measure exposure rate at 3 feet from package surface -- record. If >10mR/hr -- stop procedure and notify Radiation Safety Officer.
3. Measure surface exposure rate and record. If >200mR/hr -- stop procedure and notify Radiation Safety Officer.
4. Put on gloves.
5. Open the outer package (following manufacturer's directions, if supplied) and remove packing slip. Open inner package to verify contents (compare requisition, packing slips, and label on bottle) check integrity of final source container (inspect for breakage of seals or vials, loss of liquid, discoloration of packing material). Check also that shipment does not exceed possession limits.
6. Wipe external surface of final source container with moistened cotton swab or filter paper held with forceps, assay and record.
7.

Monitor the packing material and packages for contamination before discarding:

  a. if contaminated, treat as radioactive waste.
  b. if not, obliterate radiation labels before discarding in regular trash.

Procedures for Students and Other Personnel -  Use of Radioactive Material

Students are not to enter the radiation laboratories without the supervision of persons authorized to use byproduct, source and/or special nuclear material under the terms of the current NRC license. All students using the radiation laboratories will have basic training in radiation detection techniques. Housekeeping and security personnel who are allowed to enter the radiation laboratories are instructed by the person(s) authorized to use the by=products as to where the radioactive materials are stored and locked. Cleaning of the restricted storage areas shall be supervised by persons authorized to use the by=product, source and/or special nuclear material under the terms of the current NRC license. Security personnel are instructed in their responsibility to report promptly to the Radiation Safety Officer any conditions which may lead to or cause a violation of NRC regulations. All personnel working in the radiation laboratory areas shall be instructed in the appropriate response to warnings made in the event of any unusual occurances or malfunction that may involve exposure to radiation or radioactive materials. The extent of these instructions shall be commensurate with potential radiological health protection problems in the restricted area.

RADIATION LABORATORY REGULATIONS

1. Eating, drinking, smoking and the application of cosmetics in the laboratory is not permitted.
2. Pipetting or the performance of any similar operation will not be done by mouth suction.
3. Before a worker leaves the laboratory, the hands should be washed first, then checked with a beta-gamma survey meter. Contamination remaining after thorough washing should be reported.
4. If, in the course of work, personal contamination is suspected, a survey with a suitable instrument should be made immediately. This should be followed by the required cleansing and a further survey. Routine precautionary surveys should be made at intervals.
5. Gloves should be worn at all times when working with radioactive byproducts.
6. No person should work in the laboratory without wearing an appropriate personnel monitoring device; e.g., film badge, or pocket ionization chamber.
7. Active liquid wastes should be poured into the labeled containers provided. They should never be poured into a standard drain.
8.

Good housekeeping is encouraged at all times. Spillage should be prevented, but in the event of such an accident the following procedures should be followed:

a. The liquid should be blotted up. (Wear rubber gloves.)
b. All disposable materials contaminated by the spill and the cleaning process should be placed in a "contaminated" trash can.
c. The area of the spill and the type of activity should be clearly marked.
9. No apparatus should be washed in the public water-sewage system if it contains any activity appreciably above background when measured with a counter-type survey meter.
10. In general, active materials and contaminated materials are to be retained within the radioisotope laboratory and at specific points within the laboratory.
11.

All wounds, spills and other emergencies should be reported to the instructor immediately.

12.

Before leaving the laboratory, be sure all written records have been completed.

13. At the end of each day's work with labeled materials, appropriate rooms will be monitored by using a survey meter or making smear tests of the bench tops and the fume hood. The smears are to be checked by means of liquid scintillation counter.

RADIATION LABORATORY EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

a.   Minor Spills Involving No Radiation Hazard to Personnel
  1.

Notify all other persons in the room at once.

  2. Permit into the area only the minimum number of persons necessary to deal with the spill.
  3.

Confine the spill immediately.

Liquid Spills:
Don protective gloves.
Drop absorbent paper on the spill.

Dry Spills:
Don protective gloves.
Dampen thoroughly, taking care not to spread the contamination.

  4. Notify the Radiation Safety Officer as soon as possible.
  5. Decontaminate.
  6. Monitor all persons involved in the spill and cleaning.
  7.

Permit no person to resume work in the area until a survey is made, and approval of the Radiation Safety Officer is secured.

  8. Prepare a complete history of the accident and subsequent activity related thereto for the laboratory records.
b.   Major Spills Involving Radiation Hazard to Personnel
  1. Notify all persons not involved in the spill to vacate the room at once.
  2. If the spill is liquid and the hands are protected, right the container.
  3. f the spill is on the skin, flush thoroughly.
  4. If the spill is on clothing, discard outer or protective clothing at once.
  5. Switch off all fans.
  6. Vacate the room.
  7. Notify the Radiation Safety Officer as soon as possible.
  8. Take immediate steps to decontaminate personnel involved, as necessary.
  9. Decontaminate the area. (Personnel involved in decontamination must be adequately protected.)
  9. Monitor all persons involved in the spill and cleaning to determine adequacy of decontamination.
  10. Permit no person to resume work in the area until a survey is made and approval of the Radiation Safety Officer is secured.
  11. Prepare a complete history of the accident and subsequent activity related thereto for the laboratory records.
c. .

Injuries to Personnel Involving Radiation Hazard

  1. Wash minor wounds immediately, under running water, while spreading the edges of the gash.