UCR

Environmental Health & Safety



Radioactive Contamination / Spill


Immediate Actions

For exposures

For events that create immediate danger to life / property or if an injury has already occured:

  • Call 911 for help and ask for assistance from co-workers if available

For unexpected exposure to radiation or ingestion of radioactive materials

  • Call EH&S at  (951) 827-5528 for instructions
  • Call 911 if it is after 5PM or a weekend/holiday

For eye contamination

  • Call 911 for help and ask for assistance from co-workers if available
  • Use eye wash for at least 15 minutes
  • Completely rinse entire eye area, including eyelid and skin underneath eye

For skin contamination

  • Call EH&S at (951) 827-5528 for decontamination instructions and a dose assessment; Call 911 if it is after 5PM or a weekend/holiday
  • Contain area of contamination by proper monitoring techniques
  • Wash area several times with soap and warm (not hot) water
  • Use a mildly abrasive soap, soft bristled brush or emery board if detectable contamination is still present
  • Resurvey the contaminated area after each decontamination
  • Repeat decontamination steps until survey results do not change or if skin is getting more irritated

For contaminated lab coat, clothing or shoes:

  • Remove contaminated items and check skin underneath for contamination
  • If skin is contaminated, follow instructions for skin contamination
  • Call EH&S at (951) 827-5528 for instructions; Call 911 if it is after 5:00 pm or a weekend/holiday

For spills

For radioactive liquid spills:

  • If you have been trained and have the proper materials, contain or clean up spill and call EH&S at (951) 827-5528
  • If you have not been trained or can’t contain the spill, call 911 for help

For airborne release of radioactive gas, dust, volatile liquid or rupture of a sealed source:

  • Call 911 for help
  • Do not attempt to decontaminate anything
  • Turn off fans and blowers and close all ventilation
  • Evacuate the area, closing and locking doors after leaving room(s)
  • Place warning signs that no one should enter room (s) on every access door
  • Any potentially contaminated people should move to a nearby secure area until monitoring can take place

For loss or theft of radioactive materials, sealed sources, or radiation producing machines:

  • Call 911 for help

Additional Information / Follow-up Activities

  • Report all incidents to your supervisor
  • Decontaminate all useable equipment unless directed otherwise within procedures or by EH&S
  • Properly dispose of radioactive waste through EH&S at 827-5528

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Environmental Health & Safety

Environmental Health & Safety
Environmental Health & Safety

Tel: (951) 827-5528
Fax: (951) 827-5122
E-mail: ehs@ucr.edu

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