Emergency Phone Numbers

Record of Amendments

Table of Contents

Radiation Safety Handbook

Appendix A

Appendix B

»   How to Complete the Area Survey Record Form

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix E

Appendix F


Emergency Phone Numbers

Phone Numbers are under construction


Record of Amendments

Record of Amendments is under construction


Table of Contents

Table of Contents is under construction


Radiation Safety Handbook

Radiation Safety Handbook is under construction


Appendix A



All individuals working with radioactive materials will adhere to the following minimum safety requirements:

  1. Maintain daily exposure to radiation as low as possible.
  2. No smoking, eating, drinking, use of cosmetics, or storage of food or beverages will be permitted in any area where unsealed sources of radioactive materials are used, handled, transferred or stored.
  3. No mouth pipetting of radioactive solutions will be permitted.
  4. After handling unsealed radioactive material, hands shall be washed before leaving the laboratory and exposed skin, hair and/or clothing shall be surveyed for contamination.
  5. When hand or clothing contamination is possible, protective gloves and lab-coat shall be worn.
  6. Insure that containers of radioactive materials are appropriately marked and labeled indicating the contents, date, and responsible user.
  7. Objects and equipment which may have been contaminated shall not be removed from the controlled area without appropriate prior survey for the presence of contamination. If contamination is detected, the object or piece of equipment must be satisfactorily decontaminated as directed by the Radiation Safety Office.
  8. Whenever practical, the user should perform a trial experimental run using a non-radioactive (or low activity) material to establish the adequacy of equipment and procedures.
  9. Prior to performing operations with a radioactive source emitting a potentially high level of ionizing radiation, radiation levels will be measured. Handling tongs or a suitable remote handling device must be used for handling a sources or container which emits a dose rate at contact in- excess of 500 millirem per hour.
  10. Any operation which may produce airborne radioactive contamination (i.e. evaporations, use of volatile compounds, powders, sanding, grinding, etc.) must be conducted with appropriate exhaust ventilation approved by the radiation Safety office. When recommended by the Radiation Safety Office, filtration of the effluent air shall be provided.


Appendix B



Individual users of unsealed radioactive materials are expected to perform routine area surveys of the work places and laboratories to insure that working surfaces, floor, equipment, etc. are free of removable contaminations and that external radiation exposures are maintained at a minimum. Each Principal Investigator shall be required to obtain a suitable survey instrument in the initial review of their application.

In addition to self-evaluation, the Radiation Safety Office will perform area surveys of radiation work areas at appropriate intervals to insure that external and internal exposure of personnel to radiation is maintained as low as possible.


  • Principal Investigators will ensure that all radioactive materials handling areas under their authorization will be surveyed daily when work with radioactive materials is in progress with an appropriate survey meter and/or counter (gamma or liquid scintillation counter) and decontaminate work areas if necessary. Laboratories requiring the use of a survey meter also require wipe tests. For surveys where no abnormal exposures are found, only the date, the identification of the personal performing the survey, and the survey results need be recorded. Otherwise complete documentation of survey findings and remedial steps for decontamination must be recorded.
  • All surveys will consist of:
    1. A measurement of radiation levels with a survey meter sufficiently sensitive to detect 0.1 mR/hr when required.
    2. A series of wipe tests to measure contamination levels. The method for performing wipes will be sufficiently sensitive to detect 200 DPM per 100 square centimeters for the contaminant involved. Wipes of preparation areas or other “high background” areas will be removed to a low background area for measurement.
  • A permanent record will be kept of all survey results, including negative results. The record will include:
    1. Location, date, and identification of equipment used, including the serial number and pertinent counting efficiencies.
    2. Name of person conducting the survey.
    3. Drawing of area surveyed, identifying relevant features such as active storage areas, active waste areas, etc.
    4. Measured exposure rates, keyed to location on the drawing (point out rates that require corrective action).
    5. Detected contamination levels, keyed to location on drawing.
    6. Corrective action taken in the case of contamination or excessive exposure rates, reduced contamination levels or exposure rates after corrective action, and any appropriate comments.
  • Principle Investigators are responsible to clean contaminated areas if the contamination level exceeds 200 DPM per 100 square centimeters.



Please refer to the attached Area Survey Record Form.


The purpose of this form is to standardize the format for recording the results of routine area surveys. These surveys are specified in both the Handbook and in the Conditions of Approval for each Authorization to Possess and use Radioactive Materials at Northeastern University.


1.   Geiger-Mueller count rate meters, liquid scintillation and solid scintillation counters are all potential survey instruments.

2.   For persons using sealed sources only and which do not create a radiation field due to permanent shielding, low activity or give off non-penetrating radiations (alpha or low-energy beta), completion of the Area Survey Record is unnecessary. In these cases, radiation safety is assured through routine leakage testing and inventory taking to assure security of sources.

For persons using sealed sources (except as above), high-energy beta and gamma radiation fields need to be measured and recorded in mr/hr.

For persons using unsealed sources, sources in a dispersible physical state such as solid, liquid or gas and give off non-penetrating radiations only (alpha or low energy beta), representative samples of all potentially contaminated areas must be wiped with filter paper or equivalent and results recorded in dpm removable.

For persons using unsealed or sealed sources which give off penetrating X, high-energy beta or gamma radiations, all radiation fields need to be measured and recorded in mr/hr. Additionally, representative samples of all potentially contaminated areas must be wiped with filter paper or equivalent and results recorded in dpm removable.

3.   How to calculate dpm removable (dpm = disintegrations per minute).

4.   Step 1: Determine counting efficiency of instrument used.

5.   Step 2: The decay of individual atoms of a radionuclide is subject to the laws of probability. Basic statistics reveal that the distribution of random events can be approximated as the Poisson distribution. The standard deviation (s) of an observed number of counts (N) is:

S = (N)½ One standard deviation from the mean represents a confidence level of 68%, while 2 standard deviations represent a confidence level of 95%.

Hence, the net sample rate, NSR, is as follows:


The standard deviation of the net sample is: S = (GSR/t2 + BR/t2)½, where t is the related counting time.

For example, if GSR = 530 counts in 10 minutes and the background count is 50 CPM; at the 95% confidence level (CL), is the sample radioactive?

GSR = 530/10 = 53 cpm

NSR = 53-50 = 3 cpm

s = (530/100 + 50/1)½  = 7.4, at 95%CL 1.96, s = 14.6

The net sample is 53 and the background sample rate is 50. The difference is less than 14.6, hence there is no detectable radioactivity in the sample.

However, if the net sample rate is greater than 2 standard deviations, then calculate DPM.

DPM = CPM x efficiency factor.

Is your counting system 10, 20, 50, or 100% efficient? You must determine the counting efficiency for each radionuclide for each counting system experimentally.

For example, with a 20 % counting efficiency and a 200 cpm result,

DPM = 200/0.20 = 1000 DPM

6.   Re-Test Data

All radiation fields in the laboratory must be reduced to as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) using shielding, or other methods.

All removable contamination must be reduced to background levels in all areas that are not clearly posted, “CAUTION RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS”, such as absorbent paper on benches.

7.   Principal Investigator

Regardless of who in the lab conducts the Area Survey, all results should be recorded and initialed by the surveyor at the end of each workday on which radioactive materials are used. Principle Investigators must review and approve survey results by initialing the record on a weekly basis, at a minimum, regardless of work activity if radioactive materials are used or stored in the laboratory.

8.   Laboratory/Area Diagram

A diagram must be made of all areas in which radioactive materials or radiation sources are used. For large or complex areas more than one Area Survey Record form may be used. For example, if there are more than 11 areas to be surveyed in any given area, more than one sheet must be used.



Appendix C



    1. General

Appropriate internal radiation monitoring shall be conducted on any individual working with unsealed radioactive materials where a potential exists for receiving radiation doses and/or body burdens in excess of the limits established in 10 CFR 20. All records of such bioassays will be maintained by the Radiation Safety Office.

    1. Iodine-125 and Iodine-131 In-vivo Thyroid Counting

A) All individuals routinely working with greater than 1 millicurie quantities of iodine-125 and iodine-131 shall participate in the in-vivo thyroid counting program conducted by the Radiation Safety Office.

B) The Radiation Safety Office will arrange for routine monthly thyroid measurements for persons exposed as in (A) above. If the quantity handled exceeds 10 mCi, measurements will be performed weekly.

C) In addition to routine monthly thyroid monitoring, personnel involved in so-called “iodination” procedures will receive thyroid measurement preferably within 48 hours of performing the iodination procedure but in any case within one work-week.

D) The maximum permissible weekly increase of iodine-125 or iodine-131 in the thyroid is established as 0.05 microcurie based upon the 40 hour per week maximum permissible air concentration.

E) If a thyroid measurement indicates the presence of greater than 25% of the maximum permissible burden of either iodine-125 or iodine-131 in the thyroid, the Radiation Safety Office shall initiate an immediate investigation of the work place, local exhaust system, work practices, procedures, etc. to determine the cause of the increased iodine uptake. The investigation may include area and personal air monitoring and wipe testing of surfaces as well as visual observation of techniques. Depending on the actual thyroid level of radioiodine, the individual may also be temporarily restricted from further radioiodine work.

    1. Phosphorus-32 and Hydrogen-3 Urinalysis

A) All individuals routinely working with unsealed quantities of P-32 or H-3 in excess of 10 mCi will participate in the urinalysis program conducted by the Radiation Safety Office.

B) The Radiation Safety Office will arrange for routine monthly urinalysis on all such individuals. Should the quantity handled by any individual exceed 100 mCi of either radionuclide, the urinalysis frequency shall be increased to weekly.

C) As with the radioiodine bioassy program, if radioassay indicates the presence of greater than 25% of the urinary MPC, the Radiation Safety office will initiate an immediate investigation of the work place, local exhaust system, work practices, procedures, etc., to determine the cause of increased H-3 or P-32 uptake. Where appropriate, air samples and wipe tests of surfaces will be taken. Depending on the actual level of H-3 and/or P-32 in the urine, the individual may also be temporarily restricted from further exposure.


Appendix D



Minor Spills

  • NOTIFY: Notify all persons in the area that a spill has occurred.
  • PREVENT SPREADING: Cover the spill with absorbent paper.
  • CLEAN UP: Use disposable gloves and remote handling tongs. carefully fold the absorbent paper and pad. Insert into a plastic bag and dispose of in the radioactive waste container. Also insert into a plastic bag all other contaminated materials such as disposable gloves.
  • SURVEY: with a low-range, thin-window G-M survey meter, check the area around the spill, hands, and clothing for contamination.
  • REPORT: Report incident to the Radiation Safety Officer.

Major Spills 

  • CLEAR THE AREA: Notify all persons not involved in the spill to vacate the room.
  • PREVENT SPREADING: Cover the spill with absorbent pads, but do not attempt to clean it up. Confine the movement of all personnel potentially contaminated to prevent the spread.
  • SHIELD THE SOURCE: If possible, the spill should be shielded, but only if it can be done without further contamination or without significantly increasing your radiation exposure.
  • CLOSE THE ROOM: Leave the room and lock the door(s) to prevent entry.
  • PERSONNEL CONTAMINATION: Contaminated clothing should be removed and stored for further evaluation by the Radiation Safety Officer. If the spill is on the skin, flush thoroughly and then wash with mild soap and lukewarm water.




HOME PHONE: request assistance from the Public Safety Division (x3333) so that on-call personnel can be paged


F.X. MASSE ASSOCIATES (978) 283-4888 (24 hour coverage)
Steven Brehio Office: x2769



Appendix E

Under Construction


Appendix F


  1. In addition to approval from the N.U. Radiation Safety Committee, Principal Investigator must possess concurrent approval to use animals from the NU Animal Care Committee prior to administering radioactive materials to animals.
  2. Safety glasses, protective gloves and a lab coat as a minimum level of personal protective equipment shall be worn when injecting radioactive materials and when handling animals containing unsealed radioactive materials.
  3. Animals containing radioactive materials shall be sacrificed and dissected on trays covered with absorbent material or other approved devices to control the spread of radioactive contamination.
  4. Animals which have been injected or implanted with radioactive materials shall be maintained in areas approved by the office of Environmental Health and Safety for such work.
  5. Metabolic cages or other appropriate restraints such as cage covers shall be used to control the generation of airborne or area contamination.
  6. All cages housing animals injected with radioactive material shall be clearly posted with a properly completed radioactive material label containing the following information:
    • Type of radionuclide.
    • Total amount of radioactive material initially in the cage.
    • Date of injection or implantation.
    • Name and telephone number of Principal Investigator responsible for animals.
  7. Animals containing radioactive materials may not be kept in the same cage with animals which do not contain radioactive materials.
  8. All animal excreta which may contain radioactive materials if mixed with bedding shall be disposed of in an approved container as radioactive waste; if the excreta is not mixed with bedding, it may be disposed of into an approved sink or toilet into the sewage system provided it does not exceed the limits posted by the Radiation Safety Office. Otherwise, it must be mixed with solidification material and disposed of in an approved container as dry or solidified liquid radioactive waste as required by the procedures in Appendix G.
  9. Animal carcasses and tissues containing radioactivity shall be treated following the procedures in Appendix G. Once prepared these materials must be doubly wrapped and sealed in thick plastic bags, labeled with a properly completed radioactive material label, and stored in an approved freezer for pickup and final disposal by the Radiation Safety Office.