radioactive materials and radiation is the responsibility of the
Investigator (PI) under whose license the material/machine is being
used. Ultimately, however, it is the
of each member of the laboratory to maintain safe storage and use of
radioactive materials and machines in their area. By
using correct procedures to order, store,
and dispose of radionuclides, sealed sources, and radiation producing
each researcher is helping to implement the ALARA Program and ensure
To Receive Radioactive Materials and/or Radiation-producing Machines:
the Laboratory License is obtained
and includes the appropriate authorization for the radionuclide(s) or
2. All deliveries must be through Health Physics (see address below)
3. All items must be purchased using a Purchase Request (PR) or Standing Purchase Order (SPO)
4. The University’s A Card or any other credit/debit cards are not permitted for these purchases
Laboratories wishing to order radioactive materials and/or a radiation-producing machine must first obtain a license for the specific product from the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) and the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC). Radioactive materials will not be delivered to laboratories if the material will cause the license limit to be exceeded. If a limit is exceeded, a license amendment will be required and may prevent timely delivery. Please refer to the Laboratory Licensing chapter. The PI and laboratory staff members who will be using radioactive materials and/or radiation must complete Radiation Safety Training prior to ordering the product. Please refer to the Training chapter.
and radiation-producing machines may only be ordered using a Purchase
(PR)/Standing Purchase Order (SPO). In
most cases, these are established by individual departments through the
All radioactive materials and sources must be delivered to Health Physics and checked for contamination prior to delivery to the receiving laboratory unless special arrangements have been approved in advance by Health Physics. Radionuclide stock vials contaminated at a level of 1,000 dpm/100 cm2 or less will be delivered to the laboratory. Laboratory personnel will be notified of the contamination. Radionuclide stock vials contaminated at a level of 10,000 dpm/100 cm2 or above will not be delivered to the laboratory. Laboratory personnel will be notified of the contamination level and that a replacement will be necessary. It is the laboratory’s responsibility to arrange for a replacement from the manufacturer.
Radioactive materials and/or radiation-producing machines that are donated, received as gifts, or transferred from other institutions must be delivered through Health Physics. Radiation-producing machines may be delivered to the area of use as long as prior notification has been made to Health Physics.
Radioactive Materials Delivery “Ship To” Address:
Environmental Health and
ATTN: (PI’s Name)
All freezers and other equipment used to store radioactive materials must have a Caution Radioactive Materials sign or label. Radioactive materials should be stored only in areas properly marked and approved for their use. Please refer to the Laboratory Licensing chapter or contact Health Physics at (303) 492-6523 for further information.
Each laboratory must assure security of radioactive materials and/or radiation-producing machines. This may require locking of laboratory doors or storage freezers/refrigerators depending on use and accessibility of the area.
Please refer to the Sealed Sources chapter for information on storage of sealed sources.
Designated AreasRadioactive materials should be used only in designated areas. All laboratories should designate an area(s) for eating and drinking. This area(s) should be as far as possible from any radiation work and should be the only area(s) in the laboratory where personnel eat or drink.
Appropriate shielding should be used with each experiment. For 32P and other strong beta emitters, ¼ inch of plexiglas is appropriate. The use of lead for 32P is discouraged because it produces Bremmstrahlung x-rays.
Health Physics provides a Radioactive Materials Inventory to users of unsealed radioactive materials. See Appendix D for a sample Radioactive Materials Inventory form. This inventory should be kept on the outside of the main storage freezer/refrigerator/area in each laboratory. As a vial of radionuclide is used and disposed, the identification number on the outside of the pig should be crossed off the inventory. Enter the date and initials of the individual disposing of the item being crossed off the inventory.
At least quarterly, the vials physically present in the freezer/refrigerator/area should be compared with the printed inventory to ensure accuracy. Vials which are no longer being used or have decayed too far for use should be placed in an appropriate waste container and removed from the inventory list. The inventory sheet is collected by Health Physics to update the laboratory’s possession levels.
It is a good practice to dispose of radioactive materials which are more than one or two years old, especially those bound to nuclides and proteins. Some bound radioactive materials and their chemical carriers have an effective “shelf-life” that may be exceeded. With certain long-lived radionuclides, especially tritium, the practice of periodically purging them helps reduce contamination problems in the storage area.
Please refer to the Sealed Sources chapter for inventory of sealed sources.
Radioactive materials or radiation-producing machines may be transferred to another appropriately licensed laboratory in the same building. If the recipient is not licensed for the material being received, a license amendment will be necessary prior to the transfer. See the Laboratory Licensing chapter. Transfers between buildings must be arranged through Health Physics to ensure safe handling and transport. The radioactive material, sealed source, or machine must be transferred to the license and written on the Radioactive Materials Inventory of the recipient.
In order to send radioactive materials off-campus, the users should carefully package the material to avoid damage. Health Physics will address the radiation packaging requirements. Include a list of the package contents, name and address of the sender and receiver, Federal Express account number (if necessary), and any special instructions. Health Physics should then be contacted to arrange pick up, testing, and shipping. Radioactive materials are not to be shipped off-campus without prior approval of the RSO or the RSO’s designee. Shipping costs will be absorbed by the laboratory wishing to ship the material.
Table of Contents
Laboratory Licensing Radiation Surveys