Operating Procedures for the Safe Use of Radioactive Isotopes
- All use of radioisotope material shall be conducted under the supervision of a faculty member certified as an Authorized User (AU).
- The AU shall limit the quantity of radioactive material used by students under his supervision so as not to exceed the maximum dose allowed by regulation.
- Adequate personal protection equipment must be worn or used by all individuals using radioactive material. This shall include, but is not limited to, rubber gloves and a laboratory coat.
- Active participation in laboratory exercises during which radioactive isotopes are utilized by students that are known to be pregnant is strictly prohibited.
- Eating, drinking or smoking in the laboratory is not permitted.
- When liquid sources are used, the worker will conduct a body scan and a survey of the work area when the work is completed. Pipetting, or the performance of any similar operation, will be done by remote pipetting. If contamination is found, the radiation safety officer will be notified, and the contained area will be cleaned before the worker leaves the radiation laboratory. If spillage occurs, the radiation safety officer will supervise the decontamination of the area. Rubber gloves and lab coats will be worn, the spillage will be blotted up in an absorbing material, the area will be washed with soap and water and the contaminated materials will be stored in designated containers. Disposal will be in accordance with regulations governing the disposal of ionizing radiation.
- If, in the course of work, personal contamination is suspected, a survey with a suitable instrument will be made immediately. This will be followed by the required cleansing and a further survey.
- No person shall work with liquid radioactive materials if he has any breaks in the skin without first covering the break with some form of protective equipment All such breaks shall be reported to the instructor in charge before work begins.
- Active liquid wastes shall be poured into labeled containers or into approved "hot" sinks in concentrations conforming to state guidelines. They shall never be poured into a standard drain.
- Active solid wastes and contaminated materials should be placed in trash cans labeled "contaminated" or in designated containers.
- Active materials and contaminated materials are to be retained within the radioisotope laboratory and at specific points within the laboratory.
- All wounds, spills and other emergencies shall be reported to an approved user immediately.
- Before leaving the laboratory, all written records of isotope usage, clean-up, surveys and
- No ancillary personnel will be allowed in a radiation area without direct supervision.
Contact Dr. William S. Elliott, Jr.