Radiation protection

Training and regulation

  • Only qualified personnel with proper training and registration may handle radioactive material and waste.
  • Document usage and disposal.
  • Document contamination survey.

    Know the isotope

    Isotopes used in biological sciences.

    Minimize exposure

  • Turn on a survey meter (e.g., Geiger-Mueller counter for beta-emitter)
  • Wear lab coat and gloves
  • Use proper shields
       -Protective apron
       -Bench top shield screen
       -Microtube block rack
       -Beta waste safe box
       -Lead shield and lead foil
  • Keep a distance
  • Be ready, minimize exposure time

    Prevent contamination

  • Working in designated area
  • Cover bench and working area with assay mats
  • Place paper towels in easy to reach area
  • Keep only necessary materials and equipment in the working area
  • Never centrifuge a radioactive sample without a cap or cover
  • When boiling samples in microcentrifuge tubes, lock with cap lock
  • Don't generate gaseous radioactive waste except for 14C and 3H
  • Don't use 35S in a thermocycler

    Waste disposal

    Radioactive waste

    Monitor contamination

    Before using a survey meter, make sure the survey meter is working properly. Check for battery and calibrate regularly.

  • Monitor with Geiger-Mueller counter for high energy beta emitters (e.g., 32P)
  • Monitor with portable thin crystal NaI scintillation counter (e.g., 125I).
  • Monitor with liquid scintillation counter.

    Monitor for exposure

  • Wear a radiation dosimeter.


  • Wash hands
  • Check for contamination
  • Clean contaminated area with soap and water or radiacwash decontaminant