Radioactive Material Spill

Radiation Safety: 7-2227

Environmental Health & Safety: 7-2273

Fire Dept.: 911

Radioactive Material Spill Check List


  1. Evacuate area if health risk exists.
  2. Prepare First-Aid to the injured if properly trained.
  3. Notify Radiation Safety.
  4. Contain spill if safe to do so.

More Details

Notes and Precautions:


Spreading of radioactive material beyond the spill area can easily occur by the movement of personnel involved in the spill or clean-up effort. Prevent spread by confining movement of personnel until they have been monitored and found free of contamination. A minor radioactive material spill is one that the laboratory staff is capable of handling safely without the assistance of safety and emergency personnel. All other radioactive material releases are considered major.

Minor Radioactive Material Spill


  1. Alert People in the immediate area of the spill.
  2. Notify Radiation Safety at 7-2227
  3. Wear protective equipment, including safety goggles, disposable gloves, show covers, and a long-sleeve lab coat.
  4. Place absorbent paper towels over liquid spill. Place towels dampened with water over spills of solid materials.
  5. Using forceps, place towels in plastic bag. Dispose in radioactive waste container.
  6. Monitor area, hands, and shoes for contamination with an appropriate survey meter or method. Repeat clean-up until contamination is no longer detected.

Major Radioactive Material Spill


  1. Attend to injured or contaminated persons and remove them from exposure.
  2. Alert persons in the laboratory to evacuate.
  3. Have potentially contaminated personnel stay in one area until they have been monitored and shown to be free of contamination.
  4. Notify Radiation Safety 7-2227.
  5. Close doors and prevent entrance into affected area.
  6. Have person knowledgeable of incident and laboratory assist emergency personnel.