Radiation Safety

Radioactive Materials / X-Rays in Animals


Individual exposures to external radiation can be monitored by wearing a radiation badge (dosimeter). Radiation badges include both whole-body badges and ring badges and are exchanged on a monthly or quarterly basis. The need for wearing radiation badges will be assessed by RSS personnel based on the animal protocol selected and the radionuclide(s) to be used. A "Dosimetry Contact Person" has been established at ULAM to handle all of the dosimeters for ULAM personnel. The ULAM Area Supervisors will review with RSS dosimeter requirements and will be responsible for relating pertinent information to the animal caretakers.

NOTE: Pregnant animal care takers should inform their supervisor as soon as they know they are pregnant. Pregnant workers should wear whole-body dosimeters that are exchanged monthly instead of quarterly. ULAM Area Supervisors should inform RSS personnel immediately so the appropriate dosimeter exchange can be made in a timely fashion.

  • General Rules for Using Radiation Badges
    • Only wear your own badge. Never allow another person to wear your badge and never wear a badge assigned to another individual.
    • Ensure your name is visible when wearing the badge. Any other orientation of the badge will result in an erroneous dose assessment.
    • Badges are designed to monitor radiation exposures for the wear period beginning with the date shown on the badge. All badges must be returned to RSS for processing promptly at the end of the wear period, even if not worn during that period.
    • Badges are only intended to measure occupational radiation exposure. Never wear your badge when undergoing any type of medical or dental radiographic procedure as a patient.
    • In the event your badge is lost or damaged, notify your ULAM dosimetry contact person. Your dosimetry contact person will arrange for issuance of a replacement badge.
    • Never store badges in a radiation area or near radioactive material when not being worn. This will result in erroneous dose assessment.
    • Prevent damage or contamination of radiation dosimeters.
    • Never store or place badges in an unfavorable environment: hot automobile, washer/dryer, microwave oven, etc.
  • Individual internal radiation assessment (bioassays) may be necessary should an individual become contaminated; particularly, when decontamination efforts are not completely successful. Samples of urine, blood, saliva, or nasal mucus from the contaminated person may need to be taken. Thyroid bioassays with thyroid counters are conducted for those individuals who are exposed to volatile radioiodine. All bioassays are performed by RSS. Individuals, who have been contaminated, should contact their ULAM Area Supervisor. Requesting or scheduling bioassays with RSS is the responsibility of the ULAM Area Supervisor. RSS personnel may request that thyroid bioassays and/or urinalyses be performed for individuals involved in radiation incidents or spills.