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Radiation Emergencies

In all emergencies, except very minor spills of radioactive materials, contact either:

Between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. After hours, call University Police by dialing 333 if using an on-campus phone, and dialing (631) 632-3333 if using a cell phone or an off-campus phone.  Have University Police page the University Radiation Safety Officer (RSO).

For more information see below:

Extreme Hazards

Follow the following procedures for high radiation levels or the possibility of airborne contamination from dry or volatile radioactive materials:

Evacuate the laboratory immediately.

Close and lock the door or stand guard to prevent entrance.

Have a Radiation Protection Services (RPS) Representative summoned immediately.

Other Hazards

Follow the following procedures for spills or suspected spills of radioactive materials where material does not become airborne:

1. Confine Contamination

  • Localize the spill. Drop absorbent material on a liquid spill.
  • Damp down a dry spill.
  • Do not track contamination about the laboratory. Call, do not go for help if possible.
  • Close door and, where possible, adjust ventilation to prevent spread of airborne contamination.
  • Check shoes before leaving area of a cleaned-up spill.
  • Monitor all persons involved in the clean-up and wash well before leaving the area.

2. Personal Protection

  • Remove contaminated clothing and wash contaminated parts of the body with detergent.
  • Be especially thorough in flushing out wounds.
  • Warn other workers.

3. Decontamination

  • If thorough washing with detergent does not remove contamination from the body, consult Radiation Protection Services.
  • Permit no person to resume work in the area until the radiation protection personnel has made a final survey and given approval for occupancy.
  • Before leaving the area to contact RPS, remove shoes if contaminated and do not touch anything.


Environmental Health and Safety Laboratory Emergencies Page

Radiation Emergency Spill Procedures Policy