- Report any leak, spill, or release of radioactive material to the responsible Authorized User immediately. If the Authorized User is unavailable, call the Emergency Contact. The Environmental Health and Safety Office may also be contacted via University Police number below.
- Only the Authorized User, trained radiation workers in the lab or the Radiation Safety Officer can complete leak/spill cleanups. All persons working on a leak/spill cleanup must be fully aware of the hazards posed by the particular radioactive isotope involved – always consult the Nuclide Safety Data Sheet for the isotope involved in the spill for hazard/risk control requirements.
- Prevent spread of contamination from accident site. Use absorbent paper to stop or confine the spread of contaminants if it can be done safely. Decontaminate the area, starting from the perimeter and cleaning toward the center of the spill (use mild cleaning agents such as White Vinegar, Formula 409, Fantastik or Windex). Avoid any physical contact with contaminants.
- Clear all unnecessary persons from radiation area.
- Use nearest telephone for communications and avoid walking spilled material throughout the building.
- Assemble all personnel in nearby safe area until radiation surveys and personnel decontamination are completed by authorized lab personnel and the Environmental Health and Safety Office.
- Close doors and windows and if isotope is highly aerosol (Iodine 125/131), turn off air handling equipment that could lead to the spread of contamination throughout the building. Keep fume hoods operating within the laboratory.
- Control access to the radiation area and place warning signs indicating radiation and/or contamination hazards.
- Decontamination of rooms and building shall be done under supervision of the Environmental Health and Safety Office. See the “Responding to Radioactive Material Spills in Laboratories” flowchart for more information.
- The Environmental Health and Safety Office will assess the emergency event and contact the NCDHHS – Radiation Protection Section as required by the reporting thresholds, if exceeded, as detailed in 15 NCAC 11 rule .1646.
Radiation Safety Officer:
911 or 704-687-2200