Radiation Safety

Radioactive Materials / X-Rays in Animals


Certain animal research procedures may require the use of X rays, as well as radioactive material. The following guidelines have been established in order to ensure unnecessary exposure to X ray machine operators and the animal caretakers assisting authorized users in radiographic procedures:

  • Anyone operating an x ray machine must receive radiation safety training from RSS. This training must be received prior to operating the x ray machine.
  • Only personnel whose presence is necessary shall be permitted in the radiographic area during an exposure.
  • Protective clothing (lead aprons, leaded glasses, thyroid collars, etc.) shall be provided and must be worn by all individuals required to be in controlled radiographic areas except for the following circumstances:
    • When ancillary personnel are entirely behind protective barriers while the equipment is energized.
    • When a radiation protection survey indicates that the exposure rate in the occupied area is less than 5 mR per hour and the individuals are wearing personnel monitoring devices.
  • No person shall routinely support or hold animals or film during X-ray exposures.
  • No part of an individual's body shall be exposed to the useful X-ray beam. Individuals must be adequately protected from scattered radiation.
  • If an animal patient must be held or positioned manually, the individual holding the animal shall wear protective gloves, a protective apron, and must ensure all body parts remain out of the useful beam.
  • Pregnant women and individuals under 18 years of age shall not support or hold animal patients during.
  • Sandbags, V-troughs, slings or other appropriate ancillary devices should be used to assist positioning animals for X-ray exposures.
  • Entrances to radiographic facilities must be locked when performing X-ray exposures.
  • Personnel monitoring devices (dosimeters) shall be worn by all personnel performing and or assisting in radiographic procedures.