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Radiation Incident Steps

 

Minor Spills

Incidents that involve the release or spillage of fewer than 100 microcuries of a radionuclide can generally be regarded as "minor." In such cases:

 

  • Notify all other persons in the room at once.
  • Clear room of all persons except those needed to deal with the spill.
  • Confine liquid spills by dropping absorbent media on spill.
  • Confine solid spills by dampening thoroughly, taking care not to spread contamination:
  1. Use inert absorbent material (kaolin clay, "Kitty Litter").
  2. Otherwise use paper towels, if no chemical reaction will result.
  • Notify your laboratory supervisor immediately.
  • Notify the Radiation Safety Office at  714-8040 or 714-8041.
  • After hours, dial 911 and notify the Radiation Safety Officer at 714-8040 or 714-8041.

 

Major Spills or Release

An incident that occurs outside a fume hood and that involves the release of more than 100 microcuries of a radionuclide should be considered "major." In such cases:

 

  • Evacuate the room immediately, shut doors and windows on the way out.
  • Notify the laboratory supervisor.
  • Notify the Radiation Safety Office at 714-8040 or 714-8041.
  • After hours, dial 911 and notify the Radiation Safety Officer at 714-8040 or 714-8041.
  • Post a "Keep Out" sign on the laboratory door.
  • In a safe place, assemble all persons who were present in the lab.
  • Wait for assistance.

 

Personnel Contamination

  • Notify the Radiation Safety Office immediately at 714-8040 or 714-8041.
  • Remove all contaminated laboratory personal protective clothing (lab coat, gloves, etc.).
  • If possible, wash the contaminated area with mild soap and water.
  • Flush eyes with clean water only. Repeat washing as necessary.
  • REMINDER: Never impede or delay medical assistance because of radiation contamination.
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