Radiation Safety

Radioactive Materials / X-Rays in Animals


As noted in the introduction, each of the standardized protocols for animal care is designated by a color-coded cage card. Selection of the appropriate protocol (and hence the appropriate cage card) is essential to ensuring the safe handling of animals containing radioactive material. In order of increasing radiological risk, the color codes used are as follows:


These colors were chosen to assist animal care takers coming in contact with the caged animals as to the level of hazard they might encounter.

  • GREEN - "GO AHEAD" represents to the caretaker the amount of radioactive material excreted is minimal and all waste/bedding can be treated as non-radioactive material.
  • YELLOW - "CAUTION" represents to the caretaker that caution should be used because the animal and all waste/bedding are radioactive.
  • RED - "STOP" warns the ULAM caretaker not to proceed until they have contacted their ULAM Area Supervisor for further instruction.

Instructions for completing cage cards, can be found here.