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- Radioactive material users will familiarize themselves with the experimental protocols,
special precautions, and any required equipment prior to performing the procedure.
- Before attempting an experiment for the first time, perform a 'dry run', using water
or saline instead of the radioisotope solution.
- Work only in designated areas.
- Immediately report any unsafe situation to the Principal Investigator, and to the
Radiation Safety Officer.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Wear a laboratory coat or other protective clothing, disposable gloves, close-toed
shoes and eye protection at all times when using radioactive materials.
- PPE such as lab coats and gloves should not be worn outside the laboratory.
- All work bench areas must be covered with absorbent paper. Absorbent paper must be
checked for contamination after each use.
- Whenever possible, work with radioactive solutions or storage of liquid radioactive
solutions should be confined to a tray or vessel capable of containing the entire
volume of the radioactive material.
- Before beginning an experiment, assemble all materials, reagents and equipment necessary
to perform the experiment.
- Monitor hands, shoes, and clothing for contamination after each procedure or before
leaving the area.
- Perform contamination and radiation surveys as directed. Record the results on the
Inventory and Tracking Sheet.
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics or change contact lenses in any area where
radioactive material is stored or used.
- Do not store food, drink, or personal effects in areas where radioactive material
is stored or used.
- Never pipette by mouth.
- Dispose of radioactive waste only in designated, approved, labeled and properly shielded
- Shielding materials must be available for specific isotopes used in the lab. Use lead
shielding for gamma emitters; Plexiglas for high energy beta emitters.
- Radioactive materials must be adequately shielded on all sides to maintain exposures
at less than 2 mR/hr at one foot from the source.
- If applicable, wear film badges at all times while in areas where radioactive materials
are used or stored. Badges should be worn at chest or waist level. When film badges
are not being worn to monitor occupational exposure, they should be stored in a designated
low background area.
- All unstable and/or volatile radioactive materials must be used in chemical fume hoods.
- Follow any additional safety precautions provided by the radioisotope manufacturer
or vendor. Maintain a copy of any package inserts.
- All countertops where radioactive materials are used must be clearly defined and labeled
with the radiation symbol.
- All hoods in which radioactive materials are used must be clearly labeled with the
- All sinks in which radioactive material is introduced by cleaning of contaminated
lab ware must be clearly labeled with the radiation symbol.
- Any equipment in which radioactive material is used must be clearly labeled with the
radiation symbol (Centrifuges, incubators, etc.).