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Radiation protection rules and general advice for users

Workers in an ionizing radiation environment have to wear special clothing to protect them against the risk contamination. It is therefore strongly advisable to wear overalls and protective gloves.

Radioactive standards must be handled with care.

When no longer use they must be stored in their original package or in a package specially adapted for radiation protection.

These precautions are aimed at preventing external exposure, as well as internal exposure resulting from inhalation, ingestion or ingress via a wound.

• Procedure in the event of an incident

Radioactive sources must always be handled or used under the supervision of a Person Appropriately Qualified in Radiation Protection.

In the event of an incident, contact the facility’s Person Appropriately Qualified in Radiation Protection. This person will take all necessary preventive measures (to alert staff) and take action with respect to any contamination.

• Specific advice for users


Under normal laboratory temperature and pressure conditions, solutions remain stable in their original ampoules for a minimum period of two years.

Solutions can be decanted from their ampoules to another receptacle.

Solutions can be diluted. However, the diluent used must have the same chemical composition and the same concentration of non-radioactive material as the standard solution.

If the chemical composition is intended for preparation of a source, it must be ensured that volatile components are not lost during the different handling operations.

Nuclear medicine

The recommended period of use for sources is generally limited to two years.

Beyond this period, sources have to be recalibrated at regular intervals.

Sealed sources

Sources must be handled using gloves and forceps (all sources in kits are supplied with forceps) to avoid leaving a film of grease on their surface, and eliminate a potential source of damage.

Special high-activity sources are subject to radiation protection rules in accordance with regulations concerning the protection of workers.

g sources are equipped with a plastic film, and can therefore be cleaned using a cloth moistened with alcohol. Abrasion of the top surface will modify the activity level and lead to a risk of leakage.

a and b sources, however, must not be cleaned, since they are not equipped with a plastic film.

Detergents and abrasive solutions must not be used under any circumstances.

To avoid evaporation of carbon-14 resulting from exposure to the atmosphere, carbon-14 sources must be kept in their container and stored in a dry place away from light.

• Loss of sources

In case of loss, theft or inability to locate a radioactive source, or in case of events likely to cause dispersal of radioactive material, the facility manager, approval holder or Person Appropriately Qualified in Radiation Protection must notify the authorities of its country.



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