Radioactive Spill Clean-up Procedures
Note: Follow this procedure for "Major Spills".
Major spills are those that:
- involve more than 100 microcuries of radioactivity
- more than a liter of volume
- any amount that resulted in personnel contamination.
Certified radiation handlers can take care of minor spills
(less than 100 uCi or no personnel contamination and less than
1 liter volume) by containing the material, conducting a wipe
test, and sending a report of the incident to the Radiation
1. CONTAIN the spill by absorbing as much
as possible with an absorbent material such as paper towels
or chemical spill kit.
2. NOTIFY all people to leave the area of
the spill and SECURE the area by locking the
door and posting a sign to “KEEP OUT”, or post a
guard outside of the area where the spill occurred.
3. LEAVE any contaminated shoes and clothing
in the room where the spill occurred.
4. DECONTAMINATE any areas of contact to personnel;
immediately wash with soap and/or commercial detergents and
recheck for contamination; consider clipping fingernails. If
skin is cut, irrigate with water.
5. CONTACT the supervisor of the room where
the spill occurred.
6. CONTACT the Radiation Safety Office at
656-2570. Office hours are from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm (Closed from
Noon to 1:00 pm) Monday through Friday. At all other
times dial 911 to notify Campus Police. They will contact
RSO personnel and proceed to the scene to assist laboratory
personnel in securing the area.
7. Send a First Report of Injury Form to Risk
Management (250 Colchester Avenue) and send a report to the
Radiation Safety Office using the standard Contamination
Survey Report Form.
(*Adapted from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Office of
October 12, 2006