University Resources, Operations and Policies

Radiation Safety


Policy Statement

Adelphi University is committed to supporting the educational mission of the institution through efficient information storage and retrieval, appropriate auditing procedures, professional personnel services, and a safe environment.


Reason for Policy

Because of the usage of radiation at the University, it is necessary that proper procedures be employed in the purchase, use, storage, and disposal of radioactive materials and radiation emitting devices.


Who Is Governed by this Policy

Faculty, Staff and Students


Policy

Policies and procedures related to proper handling of radioactive materials and devices listed below:

  • All the open gamma sources should be handled in a closed fume hood fitted with gloves for opening the sources received, preparing the sources and for temporary storage before discarding them as radioactive waste. The fume hood should be maintained at negative pressure so that radioactive materials may not escape into the room. This can be easily realized by incorporating an exhaust fan open direct to the atmosphere.
  • Radioactive sources are often a source of hazard to the inadvertent workers such as other people working in the same room or even janitorial staff, etc. Therefore, it is important that all the radioactive materials should be labeled accordingly.
  • All the laboratories working with radioactive materials should have a working and calibrated radiation monitor appropriate to the types of sources used in that lab. The room also should be labeled as containing radioactive materials. This is necessary in case of an accidental fire.
  • All the workers handling the radioactive sources will monitor their hands and other parts of the body for possible contamination after handling the radioactive sources. Contamination will be decided by the count rate over and above the background and the statistical uncertainties. We can define a simple rule to take care of the statistical uncertainties.
  • In case of accidental spills over the body, the person should immediately take a shower using water and soap and report the accident to the RSO. It is important that the nature of the accident be reported which includes the details of the (1) radioactive source (2) chemical form of the source (3) nature of the accident such as part of the body exposed and (4) amount of radioactive material involved. The Coordinator for Environmental Health and Safety (x3242)
  • All radioactive sources as far as possible must be stored in a designated room with appropriate labels at the entrance and also inside the room where materials are stored so that accidental and inadvertent mishandling can be avoided. Additionally this will also alert the people in case of fire.

Copies of the regulations must be kept in all lab rooms which use radioactive material. All professors and their students who wish to use radioactive material at the University must provide proof of training and competence. Each professor must create standard operating procedures (SOPs)for each radioactive material they will use.

Radiation Safety Committee

  1. The use of radioactive materials and radiation emitting devices at Adelphi University will be reviewed annually and monitored by a Radiation Safety Committee (RSC). This Committee is appointed by the Safety Committee and the President and is responsible directly to the President. Responsibilities of the RSC will be consistent with NYS and NRC requirements.
  2. The RSC consists of a Chair; the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO); representatives from the departments that utilize or handle radioactive materials or radiation devices; The Biology, Chemistry, and Physics Departments; the Director for Business Affairs and additional members who are experienced in dealing with radioactive materials, ionizing or non-ionizing radiation.
  3. The RSC meets annually and at such other times as deemed necessary by the RSO.

Adelphi University Radiation Safety Officer

  1. The University’s Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) performs the daily implementation of policies and procedures regarding the safe use of radioisotopes and sources of radiation. The RSO:
    1. Ensure that each user of radioisotopes or radiation sources is in compliance with regard to the posting of notices to workers, receiving and opening of packages containing radioisotopes, storage and use of radioisotopes, surveys of work areas, storage and disposal of radioactive wastes, and maintenance of records of the radiation safety procedures.
    2. Perform leak/swipe tests of various types of sources and conduct such tests and maintain records as required in the New York State Regulations for the Control of ionizing Radiation. All packages and boxes received at Adelphi University as new radiation sources will be swiped by the RSO before they are released to the Professor or department using the material.
      1. Procedure for conducting smear wipe surveys for radioactive contamination:
        Research laboratories where unsealed sources of radioactive material are used shall be surveyed weekly. Pay special attention to posted work areas, hoods, waste disposal areas, storage areas, floor surfaces. Also check non-use areas in labs such as desks, trash containers, phones and areas where possible cross contamination might occur. Conduct swipe tests to measure contamination levels from H-3, C-14, S-35, and/or other beta-emitting radionuclide with decay energies less than 300 KeV. Swipe tests may be used to detect other beta-emitting radionuclides if desired. Swipe tests are performed by wiping a piece of dry filter paper or cotton over an area of 100 square centimeters.
        Count smear wipes for removable contamination in an appropriate counting device (i.e. liquid scintillation counter or beta counting system), Record results
      2. Procedure for conducting a meter survey for radioactive contamination:
        Radiation meter surveys may only be performed for isotopes emitting gamma radiation or beta particles with an energy greater than 300 KeV. Prior to conducting a radiation meter survey, the following checks shall be performed:

        1. All radiation detection instruments must be calibrated annually. Verify the meter to be used is in calibration
        2. Verify proper battery operation by taking the main switch to the “Battery Test” position (or equivalent) and observing the needle deflection to the “Battery Test” (or equivalent) position
        3. Verify the physical condition of the instrument is satisfactory
        4. Verify the instrument cable is intact, in good physical condition, and does not have any cuts or tears in the insulation
        5. Set the audible response switch to the “On” position and set the response switch to the “F” (fast response) position
        6. Verify the meter has been checked for proper response against a source of known strength on the day of use.
        7. Hold the radiation detector between 0.5 and 1 cm from the surface to be surveyed and move at a rate of 3-5 cm per second. NOTE: holding the probe at an excessive distance or moving the probe too rapidly may result in not detecting radioactive contamination. Holding the probe too close to the surface surveyed may result in contamination of the probe.
        8. Record the highest net count rate reading noted on the survey map as noted. To determine the net count rate, subtract background count rate from the instrument reading. For example, if you have 50 cpm from background radiation (measured outside the laboratory) and the instrument reads 300 cpm, your net count rate is 250 cpm.
        9. Convert this count rate to a disintegration rate using the meter efficiency for the isotope in use. For example, if a count rate of 250 counts per minute is noted for P-32 and the meter efficiency for P-32 is 50%, the disintegration rate is 500 disintegrations per minute (DPM). {DPM=CMP/Efficiency}
    3. Maintain records required by the New York State Regulations for the Control of Radiation. The information will be obtained from each licensee at intervals not to exceed 1 year.
    4. Stop any operations not in compliance with the above New York State Regulations or with the Adelphi University Radiation Safety Manual until the individual has corrected the violation.
  2. The University RSO may delegate certain radiation safety duties to other regular university employees in departments with special needs.
  3. The University RSO and his designee are authorized to immediately stop any operation that may compromise health and safety at the University or which may result in a breach of any local, state, or federal environmental health and safety regulation.
  4. The University RSO must meet the training and experience as specified by guidelines issued by the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental Radiation Control. The fee for license renewal shall be paid by the University.

Definitions

This policy does not have definitions associated with it at this time. Upon periodic policy review this area will be evaluated to determine if additional information is needed to supplement the policy.


Procedures

Procedures for Use, Procurement, Receipt and Storage of Radioactive Materials

  1. All persons intending to use radioactive materials other than that exempted by the New York State Department of Health must possess a license or be listed as an authorized user on the University’s license and, prior to the procurement of radioactive materials or devices, must contact the University RSO for proper authorization and briefing on controls and regulations. The authorized user will be responsible for assuring that safe and proper procedures are followed by all workers and students under his supervision.
  2. Orders for radioactive materials must be submitted through the University RSO prior to placement of the order. The ordering department must coordinate with the University’s RSO to identify the area to which the radioactive materials should be delivered.
  3. When shipments of radioactive materials are received, the RSO will swipe test the package. The RSO will inventory the shipment to determine the type of radioisotope, chemical form of the radioisotope, and quantity in uCi or mCi. The shipment will then be stored in the freezer in room S-06, until needed by the professor.
  4. Radioactive material containers which emits no more than 2 mr/hr may be stored in a secured area in the user’s laboratory. Sources used by the Biology and Chemistry departments are Tritium and Carbon 14 which are both low Beta emitters.
    Any radioactive materials emitting more than 2 mr/hr of radiation must be stored in a locked facility shielded to reduce radiation to no more than 2 mr/hr at the surface. The shielded storage facility will be provided by the University and approved by the University RSO.
  5. Because of federal and state regulations regarding the procurement of radioactive materials, all such purchases must be via purchase order.

Procedures for Use, Procurement, Receipt and Storage of X-Ray Generating Equipment

  1. All persons who intend to use x-ray generating equipment with x-rays emitted purposely or unintentionally from non-radioactive sources by devices requiring registration by the New York State Department of Health (including, but not limited to, equipment such as electron microscopes, x-ray diffraction equipment, etc.) must become listed as an authorized user on the University’s Certificate of Registration (COR). The authorized user will be responsible for assuring that safe and proper procedures are followed by all supervised personnel. Proper maintenance related to x-ray safety (particularly x-ray safety interlocks and shielding) will be coordinated by the University Radiation Safety Committee (RSC), to assure that it is performed at appropriate intervals by authorized personnel. Any person planning to apply for a COR must notify the University RSO prior to filing for an application.
  2. The University’s Radiation safety Committee (RSC) must be contacted prior to the purchase of equipment by a copy of the PO, transfer from another institution, loan or donation of x-ray generating equipment with x-rays emitted from non-radioactive sources. Proper authorization and briefing on controls and regulations by the RSC must precede the procurement of any x-ray generating equipment.
  3. The shipment of x-ray generating equipment must be received unassembled by the proper licensee, who must oversee the unpacking and installation of the equipment to ensure that the equipment does not leak x-ray radiation during installation and operation in excess of amounts exempted by the New York State Department of Health. The RSC will be notified in advance by the user of all x-ray generating equipment brought or delivered to campus.
  4. The University RSC must be notified immediately of x-ray equipment safety interlock or shielding failures. Affected x-ray equipment cannot be operated without repairs formally approved by the RSO. X-ray equipment must be stored in a manner which ensures that intentional or accidental unauthorized equipment operation is not reasonably possible. The University RSO must be contacted to review the status of any stored x-ray producing equipment.

Procedures for Disposal of Radioactive Materials

  1. The disposal of radioactive materials is strictly controlled by federal and state regulations. In order to assure compliance with these regulations, initial disposal of materials by a user MUST be done only after consultation with the University’s RSO.
  2. General guidelines for the disposal of radioactive materials are contained in Appendix A-See chart

Procedures for Disposal of X-Ray Generating Equipment

  1. The disposal or transfer of x-ray generating equipment from non-radioactive sources is strictly controlled by federal and state regulations. In order to ensure compliance with these regulations, the disposal or transfer of x-ray equipment should be done only after consultation with the University RSO.
  2. The general guidelines for the disposal of x-ray generating equipment from non-radioactive sources (See chart Appendix A).

Emergency Action Procedures

1. Always contact the Radiation Safety Officer in case of any emergency. Specific recommended actions for emergencies are given in the Adelphi University Public Safety Manual.
2. For further emergency aid, contact the following the Radiation Safety Committee member:

Lawrence Hobbie, PhD
University Radiation Safety Officer
X6873

Appendix A

Radioactive Waste Management Procedures
Aqueous Waste
  • Do not discard radioactive wastes into sinks

  • Use plastic carboys available from Radioactive Waste Hauler

  • Contents should NOT exceed the “fill line” on the container

  • Secure the cap of container tightly

  • Attach a Radioactive Waste Pickup Receipt

Liquid Scintillation Vials
  • Vials with hazardous chemical(s) are a mixed waste –
  • Segregate securely capped vials according to radionuclide (-H-3 and/or C-14 may be disposed of together)

  • Segregate securely capped vials according to cocktail type

  • Place vials in shipping tray or box -trays with the same radionuclides may be grouped together

  • Attach a Caution -Radioactive Material label, a Chemical Waste Tag, and a Radioactive Waste Pickup Receipt

Source Vials
  • Empty vials may be disposed of in a step-can as dry solid radioactive waste
  • If source vial contains radioactive fluid:
    • -Place securely capped vials in a small box
    • -Attach a Caution
    • – Radioactive Material label and a Radioactive Waste Pickup Receipt
Other Types of Dry/Solid Material
  • Use labeled step-can containers available from Radioactive Waste Hauler
  • Attach a Radioactive Waste Pickup Receipt

All radioactive waste must be inventoried in the presence of the Radiation Safety Officer. Written records of all radioactive waste must be maintained by the Professor producing the waste and the Radiation Safety Office. 


Forms

This policy does not have forms associated with it at this time. Upon periodic policy review this area will be evaluated to determine if additional information is needed to supplement the policy.


Related Information

This policy does not have related information at this time. Upon periodic policy review this area will be evaluated to determine if additional information is needed to supplement the policy.


Contact

Carolyn Bauer
p – 516.877.4153
e – cbauer@adelphi.edu 

Michelle Glover-Brown
p – 516.877.3242
e – mglover-brown@adelphi.edu


Document History

  • Last Reviewed Date: February, 2018
  • Last Revised Date: February, 2018
  • Policy Origination Date: Not known                

Who Approved This Policy

Dr. Lawrence Hobbie

 
 
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