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Environmental Health and Safety

Use of Radiation Material

In order to begin any research that involves radioactive materials, faculty must first obtain approval through the Radiation Safety Office. This structure allows the Radiation Safety Office to efficiently manage the proper use of radioactive materials on campus. This structure also ensures that all researchers are aware of the hazards safe practice guidelines associated with the radioactive material being handled during research.

NEW RESEARCHERS: All new or existing faculty who intend to utilize any radionuclide for research should complete part I and part II of the attached application and submit to the Radiation Safety Office.

EXISTING RESEARCHERS: They will already have an “Authorization? However, they may wish to use a different isotope, or begin a new procedure. This requires an amendment. They will get the last document for “amending?the existing authorization AND they should get the second form (Part II). The Part II form provides space for them to explain, I detail, the procedure and experiment they will be performing. This allows EH&S to look for associated hazards as well as opportunities for aerosols to be created, etc.

These documents must be reviewed and voted on by the Radiation Safety Committee. The committee meets once each quarter, s the process maybe expedited by sending copies to all members and having “email Q&A?as a group on the matter. There is no restriction that says the members cannot vote electronically by email, this works especially well for amendments.

All completed documents should be placed in the three ring binders in the rad office, each is labeled with the researcher’s name.

If inspectors ask to see the process for authorizing “new workers?you should show them these documents.

All applications now expire on December 31. Prior to this, Principal Investigators receive a copy of their current Authorization and a “Request for Renewal?which allows them to furnish additional information and to update their authorization. Authorizations reducing possession limits and codifying similar actions indicating less use of radioactivity need not be reviewed by the RSC. Likewise, for renewals that remain unchanged. Authorizations expanding the scope of use have amendment provisions and expedited review by the committee membership. This forces PI’s to revisit their Authorization at least once each year and assess the scope of operations in the laboratory and to make the necessary changes so that the Authorization bears a higher level of relevance to actual operations in the laboratory.

Part 1 is a general information form regarding the background and experience of the researcher making the application and the resources available in the lab to properly use, store, and manage radioactivity. Part 2 is specific to the project the researcher is planning to undertake. This section provides a detailed profile of the materials to be used, waste to be generated, exposure hazards, contamination survey requirements, and an assessment of dosimetry needs. In addition, this portion also provides information regarding undergraduate student or graduate student involvement with the project. This information is used to capture information on those individuals that need to be trained and design relevant training that applies to their specific research project.

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Last Update: 08/22/2012