Radiation Safety Guide

Radiation Protection Services (RPS) has the responsibility to implement the radiation safety program at Stony Brook University. The complete rules and regulations for the safe use of radioactive materials can be found in the University Radiation Protection Committee (URPC) Policies and Procedures booklet, which is available in each authorized radioactive materials laboratory. This booklet is provided to aid you in recognizing your responsibility for radiation safety. While it gives an overview of basic radiation safety procedures, it is the responsibility of each radiation worker to be thoroughly familiar with all applicable sections of the Radioactive Materials Safety Manual.

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Radiation Protection Procedures

When working with radioactive materials or radiation sources, each worker should be aware of the methods or procedures that can best be used to reduce his or her radiation exposure. To limit exposure from external radiation, one can reduce the time spent with the material, increase the distance between the material and the body, or interpose shielding between the source and the body. For prevention of intake of radioactive material that could lead to internal exposure, one should minimize the amount of material handled, make sure the material is properly contained, wear appropriate protective clothing (i.e., lab coats, gloves, boots, respirators, etc.), and follow established procedures as outlined below.

Radioactive Materials Area Protection Procedures:

  1. Eating, drinking smoking, use of cosmetics or storage of food and beverages is prohibited except in specific designated areas which are approved by RPS.
  2. Radioactive Materials Areas must be locked when unattended unless all radioactive materials are otherwise secured.
  3. No items shall be removed from areas where a reasonable possibility exists of its being contaminated until monitored and found free of contamination.
  4. No mouth pipetting is allowed in Radioactive Materials Areas.
  5. Label all containers of radioactive materials. Labels shall include date, nuclide, quantity, the words CAUTION-RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS, and the radiation symbol. This need not include laboratory containers, such as beakers, flasks and test tubes, used transiently in laboratory procedures.
  6. Radioactive material work areas should be non-porous and/or covered with backed absorbent paper.
  7. All stored material shall be placed in a designated and posted secure location. Shielding shall be provided to reduce radiation levels to less than 5mR/h at the surface.
  8. Any operation with amounts of radioactive materials which can cause a radiation hazard, if the operation dose not proceed according to plan, shall be preceded by a sufficient number of rehearsals without radioactive material to ensure that the operation will be reasonably free of incidents.
  9. Fume hoods used for manipulations or storage of any radioactive materials must have a face velocity of 100 linear feet per minute or greater.

Personnel Protection Procedures:

  1. Protective clothing and gloves shall be worn when handling radioactive material under conditions where contamination may be expected.
  2. Personnel with breaks in the skin should use waterproof tape to seal such breaks or not manipulate radioactive materials.
  3. Personnel should monitor themselves for contamination at frequent intervals when working with radioactive materials. Monitoring should include hands, body, hair, shoes and clothing. If contaminated, the body and clothing shall be decontaminated before leaving the area.

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