PERSONNEL DOSE MONITORING                           

1.    ALARA Principle
2.    External Monitoring
3.    Obtaining a Dosimeter
4.    Rules for Wearing Badges
5.    Internal Monitoring
6.    Radiation Work at other Institutions or Companies
7.    Pregnant Employees Exposed to Radiation

The ALARA Principle:

Although the University must keep doses of students, staff and visitors below the relevant NRC/Pa DEP limits, the University is further required by regulation to keep doses As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). ALARA emphasizes the importance of minimizing the dose received when working with or around radioactive material. The three major principles used to keep doses ALARA are Time, Distance, and Shielding. We encourage all radioactive material users to offer suggestions to lower exposures.

External Monitoring

All persons working with higher energy beta or gamma radiation at the University of the Sciences will be issued personal dosimeters. (e.g., badges)

Those working with only low-level beta emitters (H-3 and C-14) will not be issued a personal dosimeter. These low-level beta emitters cannot be detected on a badge.

Persons handling P-32, or millicurie amounts of I-125, will also be issued a ring badge.

Obtaining a Dosimeter

Complete a Radiation Dosimeter Badge Request Form and return it to the EHRS Department, Box #85 or McNeil Science and Technology Center, room #221. (Radiation Dosimeter Badge Request Form)

Rules for Wearing Badges

  • Wear badges between the waist and shoulders and so the name label faces toward the source of radiation.
  • Wear the ring badge under gloves to avoid contaminating the badge. Be careful not to throw out the ring badge with the gloves when discarding the gloves as radioactive waste.
  • Store badges in low radiation background areas.
  • Do not expose badges to elevated temperatures (i.e., do not store badges on hot sunny surfaces or near radiators).
  • Notify the EHRS Department immediately if you suspect you may have received an unusual exposure.
  • Do not wear your badges when you receive medical x-rays or are exposed to other medical sources of radiation.
  • If your badges become contaminated, damaged or lost, call the EHRS Department to request replacements.
  • Turn in badges promptly at the end of the wear period.
  • Internal Monitoring

    Radioactive materials can be taken up internally when volatile or other airborne radioactive materials are inhaled and when radioactive materials are absorbed through the skin or ingested. Internal uptakes may occur when laboratory personnel unknowingly handle contaminated objects, when permeation occurs through contaminated gloves, or when spills occur. To determine the dose resulting from an intake, bioassays must be performed. For the radioisotopes commonly used at the University of the Sciences, bioassays would involve urinalysis or external thyroid counting.

    Bioassays are required when:

    A person uses H-3 or I-125 exceeding the amounts listed below, at any one time, or the cumulative activity handled by that person during one month.

    Widespread contamination has occurred in a laboratory and when skin contamination has occurred.

    Nature Of Use

    Form

    Activity

    In an open room

    HTO* and other forms, including nucleotide precursors

    100 mCi

    H-3 gas in a sealed vessel

    100 Ci

    In a chemical fume hood

    HTO and other forms, including nucleotide precursors

    1 Ci

    H-3 gas in sealed vessel

    1000 Ci

    * HTO is tritiated water.

    When a person uses I-125 exceeding the amounts listed below, at any one time, or the cumulative activity handled by that person during any three month period.

    Nature of Use

    Form

    Activity

    In an open room or on benchtop

    As NaI or other volatile form

    1 mCi

     

    Bound to a non-volatile agent

    10 mCi

    In a chemical fume hood

    As NaI or other volatile form

    10 mCi

     

    Bound to a non-volatile agent

    100 mCi

    Radiation Work at other Institutions or Companies

    Any University employee or student, who plans to do radiation work at other institutions must notify the EHRS Department before visiting the other institution. The University of the Sciences is required to keep track of the total radiation exposure received by its employees and students.  The EHRS Department will contact the host institution and request radiation exposure records.

    Pregnant Employees Exposed to Radiation

    The NRC/PaDEP regulations require that the University of the Sciences ensure that the radiation dose to an embryo/fetus does not exceed 0.5 rem (500 mrem) for the entire gestation period, of a declared pregnant worker (10% of the occupational dose limit for adults).

    In order for the occupational exposure limits for an embryo/fetus to apply, pregnant employees must voluntarily declare in writing their pregnancy to the EHRS Department. View the Reproductive Health Policy for additional information and for the Declaration Form.

    If you are pregnant or believe you may be pregnant, contact the EHRS Department. All inquiries will be kept in confidence. The following steps will be taken:

  • You will be provided the opportunity to declare your pregnancy.
  • Your dose history and exposure potential will be evaluated.
  • You will be provided with information concerning risk.
  • You will be provided with suggestions for reducing exposure.
  • Your radiation dose will be monitored with respect to the NRC/PaDEP limits.
  • The declared pregnant worker may revoke the declaration, in writing, at any time.


    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia • 600 South Forty-third Street • Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495 • phone: 215-596-8800 • email: safety@usp.edu