Radiation Safety

Radiation Safety Service (RSS) provides the radiological safety training, professional guidance, and technical support necessary to establish and implement an effective radiation safety program at the University. Technical support includes safety evaluations, radiation monitoring, environmental and personnel dose assessments, radiological emergency and radioactive spill response, and radon monitoring. Professional guidance consists of evaluation of facilities, written guidelines, radiation monitoring equipment recommendations, confirmatory laboratory surveys and program assessments, regulations interpretation, regulatory licensing and registration, and regulatory compliance and intervention. Safety training includes exposure and contamination control, risk assessment, and radiation monitoring instrumentation use.

Principal Functions of Radiation Safety Service

  • Provides training
  • Evaluates faculty applications for approval to use radioactive materials
  • Approves requests to procure radioactive materials
  • Provides guidelines and protocols, conducts routine and investigative safety reviews and offers consultation and assistance to users
  • Registers radiation-generating devices and reviews facility shielding plans
  • Provides radiological emergency and incident response
  • Provides radiation monitoring and bioassay services
  • Decommissions labs, facilities and equipment prior to return to unrestricted use
  • Conducts radon monitoring, evaluation and mitigation assessment

Radiological Emergency and Radioactive Spill Response
Emergency situations can arise from the use, storage, or transfer of radioactive material or the misuse of radiation-producing devices such as x-ray units. Incidents may involve the loss of radioactive material, the spread of radioactive contamination, or the accidental exposure of individuals to ionizing radiation. RSS responds promptly to any radiological incident involving radioactive material or radiation-producing devices.

Radon Monitoring, Evaluation, and Mitigation
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas formed by the decay of uranium in the earth's soil and is always present to some degree in the air we breathe. The only known health effect associated with exposure to elevated levels of radon is an increased risk of developing lung cancer. A person's risk of developing lung cancer depends upon the concentration of radon and the length of time the person is exposed. RSS provides radon monitoring devices and the technical expertise to evaluate radon levels and mitigation strategies for University of Michigan facilities.