Annual Radiation Safety &
General Rules for the Safe Use of
1. Always wear lab coats or other protective clothing in areas where radioactive
materials are used or stored.
2. Always wear disposable waterproof gloves when handling radioactive
materials or items that could be contaminated with radioactive materials
3. Always use syringe & vial shields when preparing, handling, & dispensing
4. Monitor hands, clothing & shoes for radioactive contamination after each
use, or before leaving the area with unsealed radioactive materials
5. DO NOT eat, drink, smoke, or apply cosmetics in any area where radioactive
materials are used or stored
6. DO NOT store food, drink or personal effects
where radioactive materials are used or stored.
7. Always transport radioactive material in appropriately shielded
8. Dispose of waste only in specially designed and shielded containers
9. Never pipette by mouth.
8. Always wear personnel monitoring devices in areas where radioactive materials
are used or stored. Whole body badges should be worn at chest level. Rings
should be worn on the dominant hand with the detector facing the palm.
9. Always clearly identify and label the external surface of containers that contain
radioactive or biohazardous material. The label must include the name of the
compound, radionuclide, date, activity & the “radioactive material” legend.
If the material is also biohazardous, the “biohazard legend” must also appear.
10. Every vial, syringe, or capsule of photon-emitting radioactive drug will be
assayed before distribution for use.
11. Alpha- or Beta-emitting radioactive drugs will be measured (either by direct
measurement or a combination of measurements and calculations) before
distribution for use in humans.
12. Never pipette by mouth.
13. Survey the areas where radioactive material is used and stored on a daily
basis. Wipe test all areas where radioactive material is used and stored
at least weekly.
14. Each elution of Tc-99m from a Mo-99/Tc-99m will be tested for Mo-99
concentration before it arrives in your department. (at the pharmacy)
15. Tc-99m will not be used if the Tc-99m contains more than 0.15 uCi of
Mo-99 per millicurie Tc-99m.
10 CFR parts 19 & 20
What you need to know
• Areas where RAM is used or stored must be posted
with a “Caution Radioactive Materials” and “Caution
Radiation Area” sign
• NRC form 3 “Notice to Employees” and/or State
specific “Notice to Employees” must be
• The Radioactive Materials licenses or a notice
stating where the radioactive materials licenses are
• Any violations found during an inspection
• Any emergency procedures.
Caution Radiation Area
NRC Form 3
All radiation workers must receive radiation
safety training before assuming job duties
and receive annual radiation safety
DOT training is every 3 years
That’s why you are reading this!
All RAM containers or items contaminated
with RAM must be labeled with a
“Caution Radioactive Materials” label
& information necessary for staff to take
precautions. (nuclide, activity, etc.)
Radiopharmaceutical Syringes & Vials must
be conspicuously labeled to identify the
Therefore the opposite is true.
Anything that does not contain radioactive
materials cannot be labeled with a
Radioactive Materials Label
That is why we have to remove, destroy, or
mark out any radioactive markings on used
pigs and shipping boxes.
Regulations & Licenses
This pharmacy operates under several
(The USNRC, NJDEP, USDOT, NJBOP)
There are rules & regulations that we all must
follow. The pharmacy has radioactive
materials licenses. We filed an application to
regulatory agencies and have made a
commitment to follow certain procedures.
The licenses and regulations as well as specific
commitments are kept in the
Radiation Safety Officer’s office
ALARA stands for
As radiation workers we MUST be
committed to continually look for ways to
reduce exposure to Radiation.
It is every employees responsibility to follow
all the rules and regulations.
When we stick to the rules, we reduce
exposure to ourselves, co-workers and our
It is every employee’s right and
responsibility to report any unsafe
condition or any condition which
lead to or cause a violation of
regulations or unnecessary
to radiation without fear of penalty.
Basic Principles of Radiation Safety
The amount of exposure an individual
accumulates is directly proportional to the
time of exposure.
• Keep handling time to a minimum
• Don’t hold conversations in a high
• Work as quickly & efficiently as possible
Exposure falls off rapidly with distance from
the source. The relationship between
distance & exposure follows the inverse
square law (the intensity of the radiation
exposure decreases in proportion to the
inverse of the distance squared).
If a surface reading of a source is 12,000
mR/Hr the reading of that same source at
50 cm would be reduced to only about
Shielding will reduce exposure to radiation
by keeping the Gamma & Beta rays inside
The materials normally used for shielding
are Lead (Pb) and Tungsten (W).
Examples of Time
• Don’t linger in the restricted area
• Don’t have conversations in the
Iodine room because it’s private
• Work as quickly as possible
Examples of Distance
• Use tongs to transfer radioactive
• Don’t sit on the waste barrels
• Try to keep the source of radiation
away from your body
Examples of Shielding
• Store all radioactive sources in lead (Pb) or
tungsten (W) containers.
• Deposit any “hot” waste or gloves in a shielded
• Use syringe and vial shield
• Always draw doses behind a lead glass “L” block
and use syringe shield
• If you are unable to completely clean a spill,
cover the source or spill with a sheet of Lead.
Exposure vs. Contamination
Exposure is when you are near a substance
We measure exposure to radiation with
survey meters and dosimeters
Contamination is when you get that
substance on your clothes or skin.
We measure contamination with wipe tests
(well counters or wipe counters)
• A buttoned lab coat must be worn while in the
• Disposable gloves must be worn at all times when
handling radioactive or potentially radioactive
• Gloves should be changed frequently.
• The dose preparation, storage and wrapping areas
should be covered with absorbent paper.
These items should be assumed to be contaminated
unless they have been tested and found to be free
• Hands and shoes must be surveyed
EVERY TIME YOU LEAVE THE
• At the end of the work day hands, shoes
& clothing must be surveyed & wipe tested
before leaving for the day.
Dosimeters (Badges & Rings)
Two types of dosimeters are used to measure how
much radiation exposure we receive.
• Whole Body Badge
• Extremity / Ring Badge
These dosimeters must be worn at all times during
the working day.
When not in use the dosimeters should be stored
in the designated low background area with the
How to wear Dosimeters
Whole Body (badge) Extremity (ring)
• Worn at the Chest or • Worn on dominant
Collar level hand where the
• Legal limit for whole greatest exposure to
body exposure is radiation occurs
5000mrem/year • The ring must be
worn facing the palm.
• Legal exposure limit
is 50000 mrem/year.
Do’s and Don’ts
• Never bring your rings or badges home
• Never store you badges in a vehicle
• Do not get the body badges wet
• Try not to lose your if you do lose a badge
notify the RSO as soon as possible and
wear a spare badge.
• Never wear another person’s badge.
• You will be asked to review and initial your
exposure reports as necessary.
• Your exposure will be reviewed with you at
least on an annual basis.
• Your RSO reviews all exposure reports
and investigated all overexposures.
• Only authorized visitors are allowed into the
• Visitors must sign in on the visitor’s log if they go
into the restricted area
• Visitors must be assigned a pocket dosimeter
and a lab coat if they go into the restricted area
• Visitors MUST BE ESCORTED at all times.
• Visitors must be at least 18 years old to enter
the restricted area.
Potential Hazardous Effects of
At the relatively low levels of occupational
radiation exposure in the US, it is
difficult to demonstrate a relationship
between exposure & effect. High dose
effects can easily be seen and
Therefore, estimates of risk at low doses
must be derived from high dose data.
Low Dose Effects
The three possible effects of concern from
Low Doses of radiation are:
• In Utero
Risks of Effects
Normal Incidence = 20% Normal Incidence = 11%
Increase if exposed to 2000 mrem Increase if exposed to 2000 mrem
over an adult life span = over a lifetime = + 0.01%
+0.04% No new type mutations
•1000 mrad during pre-implantation period gives a 5/1000 risk of death
with Normal survivors.
•>10,000 mrad at 0-3 month of gestation stands a risk of developmental
•>100,000 mrad at 0-3 month of gestation has a 43% chance of mental
• No developmental effects have been observed at doses at or below
the 5000mrem occupational dose limit.
Pregnancy & Radiation Exposure
The maximum permissible dose to the fetus
is 0.5 rem (500mrem) during the entire
tern of pregnancy.
Make sure to review the U.S.N.R.C.
Regulatory Guide 8.13 (Instruction
Concerning Prenatal Radiation Exposure)
if you haven’t already or if you are unsure
of it’s contents.
If you are pregnant, it is your choice to declare
your pregnancy. If you declare your
pregnancy, the lower dose limit will apply to
you. This declaration must be made in
writing. This may mean that you may not be
able to perform some of your normal job
Make sure to contact the RSO if you are
pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
Security of Radioactive Material
• DOORS MUST BE LOCKED when
• Entrance to the restricted area must be
secure and limited to employees and
• Visitors MUST BE ESCORTED in the
restricted area at all times.
When Radioactive Materials are present, vehicles
must be locked and windows up at all times if
If you forget something after you have loaded your
vehicle, or if you leave the vehicle for any
reason, you must turn the car off and lock it
before walking away from the vehicle. This
includes making deliveries and sitting in the
pharmacy parking lot.
Vehicle Security (cont)
• You may not leave the vehicle keys with
anyone. (i.e. parking attendants or security
• You must legally park your vehicle. If a
vehicle gets towed with radioactive
materials inside, it is considered “loss of
control of radioactive material” and we can
• The doors to the pharmacy MUST BE CLOSED
AND LOCKED at all times.
• If you are loading your vehicle, the door may be
left open while you are standing there.
• If for any reason you must leave the area, (like
parking or retrieving a vehicle) the doors to the
pharmacy MUST BE CLOSED AND LOCKED
BEFORE YOU WALK AWAY.
Before using a survey meter you must check
• The calibration sticker - to make sure the
calibration date is within 1 year and to see
what the check source is supposed to
• The Battery Check
• The check source reading.
If ANY of the three checks fail
DO NOT USE THE METER!!!
If only the battery check failed, try
changing the batteries.
Using the Survey Meter
• Put the meter on the most sensitive setting
• The F/S switch should be on “F” (fast)
• Hold the face of the probe parallel to the
surface being scanned & as close to the
surface as possible without touching it (to
• Move to probe slowly back and forth over the
• Compare readings to applicable action levels.
Wipe Tests for Contamination
Wipe tests are used to determine the amount of
removable contamination, but will likely not
detect all the contamination that is present.
• Put on Gloves
• Applying moderate pressure drag a piece of filter
paper or swab across the area being tested.
• Count a background sample along with the test
sample in the well counter
• Compare net counts (sample-bkg) to action
Frequency of Wipes Tests
Surveys Wipe Tests
Restricted area must have Restricted areas must be
at least 1 documented wipe tested at least
survey for each day that once/week & when
RAM is handled, stored contamination is
or dispensed. suspected
Unrestricted area must be Unrestricted areas must be
surveyed at least weekly. wipe tested at least
once/month & when
• Constancy / Accuracy • Accuracy
• Channel Check
Quarterly Installation & Post
• Inventory = Quarterly
• Leak Test = Semi-annually
Well Counters / Scalers
• Efficiency = Quarterly
• Chi Square = Quarterly
• If you suspect a spill, Do Not Move. Call for Help.
If you move you take a chance of spreading the
• Notify all persons in the area & limit access to the
• Prevent the spread of contamination by covering the
spill with plastic backed absorbent paper
• Use a survey meter to assess spill
• Wipe test the area for removable contamination.
• Call the RSO or Pharmacist in charge.
• Decontaminate &/or Shield area.
• All staff in the spill area should wear booties
& 2 pair of gloves
• Using paper towels and cleaners, begin at
the edge of the spill and work towards the
• Survey/wipe test the area to evaluate the
effectiveness of the decontamination
• Continue cleaning until no more
contamination can be removed.
• If the area still surveys hot. Shield with lead.
As with anything we do, prepare a detailed
report of what actions taken to clean up
Also help the RSO investigate the cause of
the spill and ways to prevent it from
occurring in the future.
Also document any corrective actions taken
Transporting Radioactive Material
• Always carry radioactive material in a
closed shielded container to prevent spills.
• Use a cart to transport multiple doses.
• Always pack delivery cases according to
tested D.O.T. configurations
Hazardous Materials Regulations
Hazardous Materials Regulations
(HMR) are a subsection of the DOT
The primary goal of the HMR is the
safety of the public and individuals
whose jobs include the handling and
transportation of hazmat.
What is HAZMAT
The D.O.T. defines hazmat as:
Any substance or material that is capable
of posing an unreasonable risk to health,
safety, and property when transported
This includes radioactive materials and
blood products delivered to and from
Nuclear Medicine departments.
What is Needed to Transport
• Shipping papers
Every container used to transport hazardous
material has been tested in a certain package
configuration. Packages must withstand normal
transport wear and tear without leaking, spilling, or
breaking open. This is to make sure that the
radioactive material in the pigs remains safe and
secure during transport.
The results of these tests and certification of
packing configuration are kept on file.
What needs to be considered when
sending a package
• Hazard Class / UN Number
• Package type
• Package testing
• Level of Radioactive Exposure
• Amount of Radioactivity in the package
The D.O.T. requires that all hazardous
materials being shipped or transported
be placed in packages displaying correct
The Hazard Class used to identify packages
containing radioactive material is
Hazard Class 7
There are 4 types of labels used for
Radioactive White I
Radioactive Yellow II
Radioactive Yellow III
These labels indicate the
level coming from the surface of the
To Properly Label a DOT Package
Measure the radiation levels on the outside
of each package with a survey meter.
• Take readings in a low background area.
• Move SLOWLY over all 6 sides of the
• Use the reading from the HOTTEST (most
radioactive) side of the package to
determine which DOT labels to use.
The Transportation Index of a package is:
The exposure level of the Hottest side of
the package at a distance of one meter.
• Surface Reading of
• And a Transportation
Index of 0
Radiation Level at the
surface is equal to
or greater than 0.5
mR/Hr and less than
Transportation Index =
reading equal to or
greater than 50
mR/Hr but less than
1.0 and 10
If you need to placard a package, each
package must have:
A shipping paper
A security seal
Shipper’s Name & Address
Consignee’s Name & Address
Two (2) Identical D.O.T. Labels on the 2
largest sides of the box.
The information on the shipping paper
MUST match the information on the DOT
Only pick up packages that are closed
have flipped DOT cards.
We are not permitted to pick up packages
that are open, are closed without both cards
flipped, are closed with no DOT card
Shipping papers, also known as manifests,
are used to identify placarded HAZMAT in
case of a transportation emergency
They identify the amount of Radioactive
Material contained in a package as well as
a certification that all required package
packing and testing regulations have been
Before Leaving the Pharmacy
• Make sure the shipping paper is
completely filled out.
• Make sure the information on the shipping
papers match the delivery cases for your
Remember, you are the person responsible
for what is in your vehicle if you get
stopped or inspected.
How to Handle Shipping Papers
1. When placarded packages are being delivered, shipping
papers must be kept on the outside of the clipboard on the
2. After making the delivery place the shipping paper inside the
clipboard. Each clipboard has notification that shipping papers
inside are delivered not in vehicle. This is an important step. In
case of an accident the police/emergency personnel will
assume that any shipping paper in the outside of the clipboard
(whether loose or attached) goes with a delivery case in the
vehicle. If that delivery case is not in the vehicle, they will
continue to search for that can, when in fact, it has already
3. At the pharmacy, place the returned shipping papers in the
Before opening or removing anything from
the delivery case, perform a survey and
If the survey exposure rate is over
0.5 mR/Hr or if the wipe test is over 2X
background, STOP and inform the RSO
Box breakdown (cont)
• Once the case passes the survey and wipe test, the
placards and magnets may be removed.
• Open the delivery case and remove the pigs.
• Visually inspect the inside of the case for any papers,
vials or any other objects. Remove anything that doesn’t
• Survey the inside of the case. If the exposure reading is
over background place the case in the designated area
until the exposure reading is at background levels.
• Now survey the foam inserts from the can. If the
exposure reading is over background, place the foam in
the designated area.
After removing the pigs from the can, sort by
color. The white pigs contain 99mTc. The
Blue pigs contain I-131, and the Red pigs
contain pretty much everything else
(Tl-201, Ga-67, I-123, Sm-153)
Pig Color Key
The waste from these pigs must be placed
in different areas or barrels.
• The Blue pigs are placed in the I-131 fume
• The contents of the White pigs go into the
Left hand barrel(s)
• The contents of the Red pigs go into the
right hand barrel.
• You must read the label on the outside of
the multidose pig to determine which
barrel to put the waste.
• If you see anything unusual STOP and ask
the RSO or Pharmacist what to do.
After you have dumped the contents of the pigs you must now
Survey them with a survey meter. Any hot pig must be placed in the
designated area for decay.
If the White pigs are “cold” they must be placed in the dishwasher
racks. Pigs go in with the opening up.
Lids go in with the opening Down
All red pigs must be placed into a designated bin so that they
can be internally wipe tested later.
All blue pigs and their contents MUST be placed in the I-131 Hood
Multi Dose Pigs:
If multi-dose pigs are cold, they are placed back into service.