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Radiation Emergencies

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

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:

Major Spills (over 1mCi  I131, Y90, P33 – over 10mCi C14, Ga67, In111, I123 – over 100mCi Tc99m, N13, Tl201):

1. CLEAR THE AREA: Notify all persons not involved in the spill to vacate the room.

2. PREVENT THE SPREAD: Cover the spill with absorbent pads, but do not attempt to clean it up.  Confine the movement of all personnel potentially contaminated to prevent the spread.

3. SHIELD THE SOURCE: If possible, the spill should be shielded, but only if it can be done without further contamination or without significantly increasing your radiation exposure.

4. CLOSE THE ROOM: Leave the room and lock the door(s) to prevent entry.

5. CALL FOR HELP: Notify the Radiation Safety Officer/Radiation Safety immediately.

6. PERSONNEL DECONTAMINATION: Contaminated clothing should be removed and stored for further evaluation by the Radiation Safety Officer. If the spill is on the skin, flush thoroughly and then wash with mild soap and lukewarm water. If contamination remains induce perspiration by covering the area with plastic, then wash again.

7. The Radiation Safety Officer or radiation safety designee will supervise the clean-up of the spill and will complete a report.

Minor Spills:

1. NOTIFY: Notify persons in the area that a spill has occurred.

2. PREVENT THE SPREAD: Cover the spill with absorbent paper.

3. CLEAN UP: Use disposable gloves, protective clothing and remote handling tongs. Carefully fold the absorbent paper and pad. Insert into a plastic bag and dispose of in the radioactive waste container.  Also insert into the plastic bag all other contaminated materials such as disposable gloves.

4. SURVEY: With a low-range thin-window GM survey meter, check the area around the spill, hands, and clothing for contamination.

5. REPORT: Report incident to the Radiation Safety Officer/Radiation Safety.


Environmental Health and Safety Laboratory Emergencies Page


SBU/SBUH Radioactive Spill Procedures Policy