TEMPLE UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND RADIATION SAFETY

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1 Page 1 of 7 ISSUED: 5/00 REVISED: 08/06 1. Potential Releases of Radioactive Materials to Unrestricted Areas The Environmental Health and Safety Department (EHRS) must be notified immediately if an emergency occurs during the use of radioactive materials that could result in a release of material to unrestricted areas of buildings, or a release of radioactive materials to the environment. Such an event requires collection of certain data to determine the potential impact of the release on employees, members of the public and property. The nuclide(s) involved, along with the activities, should be known and communicated to the EHRS. Also, the nature of the event which could have led to the release should be described (i.e. containment failure, hood failure, etc.), along with the time and duration of the event. 2. Minor Spills of Liquids and Solids The following procedure must be followed for a minor spill of radioactive material: Place absorbent material over the spill to keep it from spreading Notify others in the area, and limit access to the spill area Monitor yourself and others for contamination and decontaminate immediately if you find any contamination Survey the suspected area to determine the boundary of the contaminated area and label with "Caution Radioactive Material" tape Gather cleaning supplies such as moistened paper towels and scouring powder or any detergent Do not ask housekeeping staff to assist in the cleanup or to lend you their equipment Wear protective clothing, i.e., lab coat and gloves (and shoe covers if necessary) while decontaminating the spill area Minimize the volume of water used to decontaminate Begin cleaning at the edges of the spill and work towards the center (lowest to highest level of contamination) Dispose of all cleanup materials as radioactive waste Re-survey yourself for contamination, including the bottom of shoes, to prevent spread of contamination Smear the area to ensure that removable contamination is below the level stated in your laboratory survey form provided by the EHRS Document spill cleanup on the laboratory survey form provided by the EHRS Cooperate with the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) and/or the EHRS s staff in investigation of root and cause. If requested provide bioassay samples Follow the instructions of the RSO and/or the EHRS s staff in the decontamination techniques, surveys and documentation

2 Page 2 of 7 ISSUED: 5/00 REVISED: 08/06

3 Page 3 of 7 ISSUED: 5/00 REVISED: 08/06 3. Major Spills of Liquids and Solids The following procedure must be followed for a major spill of radioactive material: Clear the area. If appropriate, survey all persons not involved in the spill and vacate the room Prevent the spread of contamination by covering the spill with absorbent paper (paper should be dampened, if solids are spilled), but do not attempt to clean it up To prevent the spread of contamination, limit the movement of all personnel who may be contaminated Shield the source only if it can be done without further contamination or significant increase in radiation exposure Close the room and lock or otherwise secure the area to prevent entry. Post the room with a sign to warn anyone trying to enter that a spill of radioactive material has occurred Notify the EHRS immediately Survey all personnel who could possibly have been contaminated. Decontaminate personnel by removing contaminated clothing and flushing contaminated skin with lukewarm water and then washing with a mild soap Allow no one to return to work in the area unless approved by the EHRS Cooperate with the RSO and/or the EHRS s staff in investigation of root and cause. If requested provide bioassay samples Follow the instructions of the RSO and/or the EHRS s staff in the decontamination techniques, surveys and documentation 4. Incidents Involving Radioactive Dusts, Mists, Fumes, Organic Vapors, and Gases Notify all personnel to vacate the room immediately Shut down ventilation system, if possible, unless it is determined that the room ventilation system needs to be used to clear the air for access purposes Vacate the room. Seal the area, if possible Notify the EHRS immediately Ensure that all access doors to the area are closed and posted with radiation warning signs, or post guards (trained) at all access doors to prevent accidental opening of the doors or entry to the area Survey all persons who could have possibly been contaminated. Decontaminate as directed by the EHRS Promptly report suspected inhalations and ingestion of radioactive material to the RSO Decontaminate the area only when advised and/or supervised by the EHRS Allow no one to return to work in the area unless approved by the EHRS Cooperate with the RSO and/or the EHRS s staff in investigation of root and cause. If requested provide bioassay samples Follow the instructions of the RSO and/or the EHRS s staff in the decontamination techniques, surveys and documentation 5. Contaminated Lab Coat, Clothing or Shoes

4 Page 4 of 7 ISSUED: 5/00 REVISED: 08/06 Remove the contaminated item(s) and check the skin underneath for contamination. Place the item(s) in a plastic bag and label it with "Caution Radioactive Material" tape. Contact the EHRS for assistance and instructions 6. Dose Assessment If it is reasonable and does not hinder decontamination procedure, it is recommended that radiation worker record the following data: Survey meter reading, type of meter, and distance between the survey probe and original reading of skin surface (if a survey meter was used to detect the contamination) Radionuclide and chemical compound involved Approximate amount of radioactivity involved Location on your body where the contamination occurred Dimensions of the area contaminated, i.e., square centimeters Length of time the radioactive material was on your skin or in your eye 7. Emergency Response and Management Any unexpected event or accident situation that occurs during the transport, storage or use of radioactive materials constitutes a potential emergency. The EHRS must be notified immediately when such an event results in contamination of work areas or personnel, or if significant quantities of radioactive materials are released into the environment. Specific emergency procedures must be followed in such circumstances. It may also be required to notify the Temple University Police Department and the University Fire Marshal s Office depending upon the nature of emergency. The EHRS is ready to provide emergency assistance any time of the day and any day of the week. You may call the EHRS if you need assistance and information regarding management and/or use of radioactive materials and radiation producing equipment. For concerns about security or fire safety, you should call extension and state the nature of your concern and the specific assistance you seek. Follow the following guidelines to obtain emergency help: During business hours (8:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays), contact the EHRS at (215) , or call the page operator at (215) and ask the operator to page a representative of the EHRS. During other hours and on weekends and holidays, call the page operator at (215) and ask the operator to page a representative of the EHRS and if needed, the Fire Marshal s Office. University Security may also be contacted at A. Fires The following procedure should be followed in case of fire: Sound the building fire alarm.

5 Page 5 of 7 ISSUED: 5/00 REVISED: 08/06 Call extension and state the nature of the problem and location If possible, and if trained to do so, attempt to put out the fire by approved methods (e.g., fire extinguisher) and only if other fire hazards or radiation hazards are not present Notify all persons present to vacate the area and immediately call the EHRS Once the fire is out, isolate the area to prevent the spread of possible contamination Survey all persons involved in combating the fire for possible contamination Decontaminate personnel by removing contaminated clothing and flushing contaminated skin with lukewarm water, then washing with a mild soap In consultation with the EHRS, determine a plan of decontamination and the types of protective devices and survey equipment that will be necessary to decontaminate the area Allow no one to return to work in the area unless approved by the RSO Cooperate with the RSO, Fire Marshal s Office, and/or the EHRS s staff in the investigation of root and causes. Provide bioassay samples if requested. Follow the instructions of the RSO and/or the EHRS s staff in the decontamination techniques, surveys and documentation B. Explosions/Fires, or Major Emergencies The following steps must be taken for fire, explosion or any other such incident in the work area: Sound the building fire alarm. Notify all persons in the area to leave immediately Call extension and state the nature of the problem and location Notify the RSO Upon arrival of firefighters, inform them where radioactive materials are stored or where radioisotopes were being used; inform them of the present location of the radioactive materials and the best possible entrance route to the radiation area, as well as any precautions to avoid exposure or risk of creating radioactive contamination by use of high pressure water, etc. Cooperate with the RSO, Fire Marshal s Office, and/or the EHRS s staff in the investigation of root and cause. Provide bioassay samples if requested. Allow no one to return to work in the area unless approved by the RSO Follow the instructions of the RSO and/or the EHRS s staff in the decontamination techniques, surveys and documentation C. Injury with Personnel Contamination In the event of a serious injury (heavy bleeding, heart attack, etc.), seek medical assistance immediately. Notify your supervisor and the EHRS. For a minor injury (e.g., puncture wound, suspected inhalation or ingestion of radioactive material, skin contamination, etc.), first attempt to decontaminate yourself before seeking medical assistance. Notify your supervisor and the EHRS. D. Contamination Only Skin contamination is always a possibility when working with radioactive materials and can

6 Page 6 of 7 ISSUED: 5/00 REVISED: 08/06 result in significant radiation dose if not removed. It is important to detect skin contamination and decontaminate as quickly as possible. The dose to the skin from contamination must be assessed for inclusion in the individual's dosimetry record and to ensure adherence to applicable regulatory dose limits. E. Emergency Surgery of Patients Who Have Received Therapeutic Amounts of Radionuclides If authorized users or other personnel involved in the surgical procedure are likely to receive exposures exceeding the dose of 500 mrem, the following procedure is followed: If emergency surgery is performed within the first 24 hours following the administration of I- 131 sodium iodide, fluids (e.g., blood, urine, etc.), should be carefully removed and contained in a closed system The surgeon and the personnel involved in the surgical procedures will wear protective gear for the protection of the eyes from possible splashing of foreign materials, as well as from beta radiation The RSO will direct personnel in methods to keep doses ALARA during surgical procedures If an injury occurs during surgery that results in a cut or tear in the glove used, the individual involved will be monitored to determine if radioactive material was introduced into the wound. F. Autopsy of Patients Who Have Received Therapeutic Amounts of Radionuclides If authorized users or other personnel involved in the surgical procedure are likely to receive exposures exceeding the dose of 500 mrem, the following procedures are followed: Upon the death of the therapy patient, the AU in charge and the RSO will be notified immediately An autopsy will be performed only after consultation and permission from the RSO Protective eye wear will be worn by the pathologist and assistants for protection from possible splashing of foreign materials and exposure from beta radiation If an entire block of tissue containing the radionuclide can be removed during autopsy, this will be done first. The remainder of the autopsy can then proceed as usual. The RSO will evaluate the radiation hazard(s), direct personnel in safety and protection, and suggest suitable procedures in order to keep doses ALARA during the autopsy When possible, separate organs will be promptly removed from the body, and detailed dissection will be carried out a safe distance away from the body After selected small samples have been removed, the radioactive tissues that are retained will promptly be either placed in appropriately shielded vessels for storage or disposed of according to procedures deemed appropriate by the RSO and in accordance with the regulations If an injury occurs during the autopsy which results in a cut or tear in the glove, the individual will be monitored to determine if radioactive material was introduced into the wound. G. Emergency Procedures for Teletherapy Units Containing Sealed Sources Emergency

7 Page 7 of 7 ISSUED: 5/00 REVISED: 08/06 Procedures for Beam Control Failure or Malfunction If the light signals or beam-on indicates that the beam control mechanism has failed to terminate the exposure at the end of the pre-set time (e.g., if the red light stays on and the green light is off, or if both the red and green lights stay on for more than a few seconds), the source may still be in the exposed position. The following steps are to be taken promptly: Open the door to the treatment room Instruct an ambulatory patient to leave the room If the patient is not ambulatory, enter the treatment room but avoid exposure to the direct beam. Pull the treatment table as far away from the direct beam as possible. Transfer the patient to a stretcher and remove the patient from the room Close the door and secure the area by locking the door to the treatment room or posting a guard at the entrance Turn off the main switch at the control panel Notify the AU and RSO promptly Conspicuously post a sign in the area to warn others of the problem

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