Environmental Health & Safety

A Department in Facilities


Radiation Safety Policy

Work with ionizing radiation is a highly regulated area and must adhere strictly to the University’s Radiation Protection Policy.

Policy Statement

No one may use or bring into the University or remove from the University any radioactive materials or radiation generating devices without obtaining written authorization from the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. This includes registration of radioactive materials in consumer products that are licensed for sale to the general public and do not require any registration with governmental agencies.

All work with radioactive materials must comply with the conditions of use specified in (a) the License issued by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Radiation Protection Section; (b) federal, state, and University regulations; and (c) the User Authorization issued by the EH&S Department.

No one may activate any radiation generating device unless it has been reviewed and approved by the EH&S Department and the operator has been instructed in the safe use of the device.

All persons who work with radiation sources must ensure that work-related radiation exposures are kept as far below the regulatory limits as reasonably achievable.

Radioactive waste must be handled in accordance with procedures established by EH&S and may not be disposed of as ordinary laboratory trash.

Authorized Users & Registered Radiation Workers

The Authorized User is an individual authorized by the Radiation Safety Committee to use and supervise the use of radioactive materials or radiation generating devices. A Registered Worker is an individual (faculty, staff, student) approved to use radioactive material or radiation generating devices under the supervision of an Authorized User.

Authorization to Use Radioactive Materials or Radiation Gathering Devices

Any purchase, use or work undertaken with radioactive materials or radiation generating devices requires written authorization, referred to as an Authorization, from the Radiation Safety Committee.

To obtain an Authorization, a qualified individual must submit an application form to the Radiation Safety Officer, who will review it and add it to the next RSC meeting agenda.


All radioactive materials users must take the Radiation Safety Training Seminar given by the EH&S Department. Additional training and suitable experience may be necessary for specific proposed projects. Radiation generating device users need to take device specific training as determined by the EHS Department. Periodic refresher training may be prescribed at the discretion of the RSO.

All maintenance and other workers who need to enter a controlled area must receive suitable instruction from the EH&S Department, or be directly supervised by a registered worker while in the laboratory.

Ordering Radioactive Materials

Before ordering a radioactive material, first ensure that the sum of the proposed order and the amount you already have on-hand does not exceed the Authorization’s possession limit. If the total purchase plus inventory would be less than the possession limit, approval may be obtained by contacting the EH&S Department. Authorization is given for specific radioactive materials and possession limits, and may also designate the compound and physical form.

All orders will be placed through the RSO and the EH&S Department. A purchase request form is to be completed and submitted to the EH&S Department (via fax, e-mail, or campus mail) for any purchase of regulated radioactive materials. At his/her discretion, the RSO may require a review of the Authorization, including protocols, lab facilities, users and training prior to approving and placing orders for radioactive materials.


Regulations require accurate up-to-date inventory of each radioactive material under the laboratory’s possession. To ensure proper reconciliation, each source vial will be marked with a unique serial number that is also recorded on the Daily Inventory Log (Appendix A). Each user will record the date, activity (mCi), and disposition (transfer, waste, etc.) of all material removed from the stock vial on the Inventory Log. Mark disposal date on the bottom of the inventory form. These inventory records are used to complete a semi-annual University-wide inventory conducted by the EH&S Department. Radioactive material inventory forms must be maintained for three years after transfer or disposal of the material.

Radiation Surveys

Maintaining a contamination free environment is of paramount importance when working with radioactive materials.

  • ❖ A wipe test shall be performed and documented within seven days following the use of any unsealed radioactive material.
  • ❖ An external radiation (meter) survey must be performed and documented within seven days following the use of any gamma or high energy beta emitter.

All surveys must be documented in the radiation safety notebook and must include the date, surveyor name, meter serial number and calibration due date (external surveys), areas/items surveyed or wiped (preferably on a map), and results.

Pregnant or Potentially Pregnant Radiation Users

NC DHHS has established a 500 mrem radiation dose limit to the embryo/fetus during the nine-month gestation period for those who declare their pregnancy in writing to the EH&S Department. This declaration may be made in confidence. When a person notifies the EH&S Department that they are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, the EH&S Department will provide an appropriate monitoring program. At the University, this policy applies to males as well as females who are either pregnant or trying to become pregnant.


Initial Radiation Safety Training for radioactive materials use and Radiation Awareness Training for radiation device use is provided by the Radiation Safety Officer. To arrange training, contact: Eric Zack at e_zack@uncg.edu, (336) 334-4357.

Authorized Users and Radiation Workers need to refresh training periodically. The Radiation Safety Review training module will be assigned to Authorized Users and Radiation Workers as periodic refresher training, by the RSO.