The University of Arizona

Procedures for Unsealed Radioactive Materials

Radioactive Material

Radioactive Material Shipping Address:

ATTN: Research Laboratory & Safety Services
1717 E. Speedway Blvd., Ste. 1201
Tucson, AZ 85719

Research Laboratory & Safety Services
University of Arizona
Phoenix Biomedical Campus
475 N. 5th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Research Laboratory & Safety Services

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Campus Mail:
PO Box 245101

Phone: (520) 626-6850
Fax: 520-626-2583

Mailing Address:
Research Laboratory & Safety Services
PO Box 245101
Tucson, AZ 85724

Street Address:
1717 E. Speedway Blvd, Suite 1201
Tucson, AZ 85719

Radiation Dosimeters

If you are assigned a dosimeter, it must be worn when radioactive materials or radiation generating machines are used.


The Approval Holder is responsible for maintaining a written inventory that accurately shows the receipt and disposal of all radioactive materials in their laboratory.


All radioactive materials must be kept locked or under the control of laboratory personnel at all times. Radioactive material storage areas (cabinets, refrigerators, etc.) must be locked when the approved possession limits exceed 200 mCi for H-3or 50 mCi for all other nuclides combined.


Each room approved for the use or storage of unsealed radioactive material must have a “Caution Radioactive Material – No Smoking, Eating or Drinking” sign posted on every entrance. The main entrance(s) must be posted with an “Emergency Procedures” sign and a “Notice to Employees” (ARRA 6) sign.

Each location within a laboratory where radioactive material is stored must be posted with a “Caution Radioactive Material” sign.

All radioactive material containers, radioactive equipment, and radioactive waste containers must be clearly labeled and radiation work areas must be clearly delineated as radioactive.

Research Laboratory & Safety Services must be notified immediately if posted radiation information or warning signs are removed or defaced.


All radioactive material must be stored in approved location(s) as specified in the approval. The stock must be properly labeled and stored in original shipping containers or other containers with equivalent shielding.


Use acrylic for betas and lead for gammas. Radioactive waste and working solutions of radioactive material must be shielded when count rates to which personnel may be exposed exceed twice the background count rate.

Environmental Releases

The disposal or any radioactive material to the sewer or to fume hood exhaust must not exceed 50 nCi total nuclides/month. Prior arrangements for disposals greater than this amount per month must be made with Research Laboratory & Safety Services and approved by the appropriate Radiation Safety Committee. Records of these disposals are to be documented on a monthly “Environmental Release Log” and reported to the Research Laboratory & Safety Services.


Wastes must be segregated, packaged, labeled, and tagged in accordance with the rules for Packaging Radioactive Waste. All waste items must have a Radioactive Waste Summary Form affixed to them prior to Research Laboratory & Safety Services collection. Waste items not properly prepared will not be removed from the lab for disposal. Waste collections are requested from the User Dashboard.

Protective Measures/Contamination Control

  • No eating, drinking, tobacco use, chewing gum, applying cosmetics, or storing of items intended for human consumption is permitted in laboratories.
  • Lab coats and gloves must be worn when working with radioactive materials.
  • Labeling procedures involving radioiodine or tritiated hydrides must be performed in fume hoods certified by Facilities Management. Placement of items in a fume hood which could disrupt airflow must be avoided unless evaluated by Research Laboratory & Safety Services.
  • Plastic backed absorbent paper must be used on all radioactive material work surfaces.


ll survey results must be documented and include the date, instrument ID#, initials of person performing survey, locations surveyed, background counts, and the survey results. The action level for cleanup is 50 cpm or more above background. All areas with results above the action level must be cleaned, resurveyed, and the follow-up results documented.


Users must perform and document contamination surveys after every use of radioactive material.


  • Radioactive material used during calendar month – must have comprehensive survey of all approved areas.
  • Radioactive material only stored during calendar month – Limited area survey of waste/storage areas.
  • Radioactive material not possessed during calendar month – No monthly survey required.