Radiation Spill

The Radiation Safety Office is responsible for radioactive materials. Report any radioactive waste disposal or spills to the Radiation Safety Office at 412-624-2728.

Spill Response > RADIATION SPILL

Notes & Precautions

Spreading of radiation beyond the spill area can easily occur by the movement of personnel involved in the spill or cleanup effort. Prevent spread by confining movement of personnel until they have been monitored and found free of contamination. A minor radiation spill is one that the laboratory staff is capable of handling safely without the assistance of safety and emergency personnel. All other radiation spills are considered major. Consult the Pitt Radiation Safety Manual for additional information.

Minor Radiation Spill

  • Alert people in immediate area of the spill. Wear protective equipment, including safety goggles, disposable gloves, shoe covers, and a long-sleeved lab coat.
  • Place absorbent paper towels over liquid spill.
  • Using proper radiation-safety techniques, clean the contaminated areas, moving from the edges toward the center.
  • Dispose of all contaminated waste in a radioactive-materials-waste container and properly seal and label it.
  • Monitor the area,your hands, and your shoes often for contamination with an appropriate survey meter or method. Repeat cleanup until contamination is no longer detected.
  • Notify the University Radiation Safety Office at 412-624-2728.

Major Radiation Spill

  • Attend to the injured or contaminated persons and remove them from exposure.
  • Alert people in the laboratory.
  • Have potentially contaminated personnel stay in one area until they have been monitored and shown to be free of contamination.
  • Call the Radiation Safety Office at 412-624-2728. (If there us no response, contact the Health Center Operator at 412-647-2345 and ask for assistance.)
  • Close doors and prevent entrance into the affected area.
  • Have person knowledgeable of the incident and laboratory available to assist emergency personnel.