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What can I do to prevent problems in the laboratory?

To avoid problems in a radioactive material approved laboratory, always adhere to the Guidelines for the Use of Radioactive Materials in Research (pdf).  This document is available on the Radiation Safety Guidelines web site; a hard copy is provided to all radiation users.  The following safety measures are excerpted from this document and illustrate merely some of the many important instructions included in the Guidelines.  Please refer to the complete document for a comprehensive perspective.

  • Before any procedure is performed, consideration should be given to the amount and type of radioactive material (RAM) being used to determine the need for additional precautions, such as remote handling, hoods, air sampling devices or special working surfaces. Consideration should also be taken for the volume and type of waste generated. The Office of Radiation Safety will be available for assistance on initial or unusual operations.
  • Adhere to all Safety Rules for Working with RAM:
    1. Wear appropriate protective clothing (i.e. lab coat, gloves, closed-toe shoes).
    2. Use remote handling tools, as appropriate.
    3. Wash hands and monitor clothing, as appropriate, for contamination after each procedure and before leaving the area.
    4. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or apply cosmetics in a restricted room or area where RAM is used.
    5. Do not store food, drink, or personal effects with RAM.
    6. Store radioactive waste only in specially designated and appropriately shielded receptacles in a secured area.
    7. Never pipette RAM by mouth.
    8. Transport RAM in appropriately closed and shielded containers.
  • Employ proper use of dosimeters
  • Adhere to rules regarding restricted and controlled areas
  • Properly store and label radioactive material
  • Follow all guidelines for security
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 05/02/2014