Radiation Safety

Radioactive Materials / X-Rays in Animals

Emergency Procedures

In the event of a spill or emergency involving radioactive material, the immediate objectives are to prevent or reduce the chance of personnel contamination, prevent dispersal of the contaminant, and decontaminate the area under supervision. All individuals working with radioactive material should be familiar with these procedures.

  • Notify all individuals in the general vicinity that a radiation accident or radioactive spill has occurred.
  • Determine if your clothing or skin is contaminated using appropriate survey equipment.
    • If clothing is contaminated, remove contaminated clothing and place it in a plastic bag.
    • If skin is contaminated, initiate decontamination by lathering intact skin areas with mild soap/detergent and warm water for several minutes. Whenever possible, do not discard the water down the sink; retain rinse water in a plastic tub or stoppered sink.
  • Injured personnel should receive immediate first-aid. DO NOT let the possibility of radioactive contamination hinder first-aid efforts.
  • Prevent the spread of radioactive contamination:
    • If liquid, drop absorbent paper on area of spill.
    • If fine powder, drop damp absorbent paper on area of spill.
    • If potential airborne contamination is possible, control facility air flow by turning off fans, hoods, and ventilation and close all doors and windows.
  • Isolate the area and keep other personnel out of the contaminated area.
  • Notify your area Supervisor.

    For major spills or significant areas of contamination, decontamination efforts should be done under the supervision of Radiation Safety Service personnel. Area Supervisors are instructed to contact RSS should any such emergencies occur.

NOTE: For emergencies after 4:30 p.m. weekdays and from 4:30 p.m. Friday to 7:30 a.m. Monday (weekends) contact U-M Public Safety & Security (763-1131). Public Safety will contact RSS personnel.