Radiation Safety

Radioactive Materials / X-Rays in Animals

Animal Care Facilities

The decision on whether animals containing radioactive material may be housed in general animal care facilities or if they must be placed in isolation rooms depends in part on the radiotoxicity of the radionuclide(s) being used and the maximum activity excreted daily per cage or per room. Radiotoxicity classifications and maximum daily excretion limits for commonly used radionuclides are summarized in Table 1 and Table 2.

Once the type of location has been established, a decision must be made regarding appropriate posting of animal rooms. Outside doors to animal rooms in which radioactive material is present in quantities equal to or exceeding the quantities listed in Table 3 will require posting. The sign to be posted outside the animal room must bear the radiation hazard symbol and the words "CAUTION - RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL". Once the animal(s) and/or cage(s) contain quantities of radioactive material less than the quantities listed in Table 3, the room will no longer require posting.

All live animals which have received radioactive materials and returned to an animal care facility must be properly identified. Each animal cage or pen must bear a cage card giving the authorized user/investigator's name, radionuclide used, activity (┬ÁCi or mCi) administered, and the date of administration. Pre-printed cage cards are available only through the ULAM Area Supervisors. Cage cards must remain on the cage until the cage and cage contents have been confirmed to no longer contain radioactive material. Cage cards must be returned to ULAM. ULAM will forward cards to RSS.