Environmental Health & Safety

University of Colorado Boulder

About

Radiation Safety

The Radiation Safety office provides oversight and helps ensure compliant and safe use of radioactive materials on the Boulder and Colorado Springs campuses with the express goal of fulfilling all requirements for our license for radioactive research. Our unit has helped maintain safety and compliance since the University first began using radioactive materials in the 1950s. In those days, the field of Radiation Safety (and the office on campus) was known as “Health Physics” – a name developed under the secrecy of the Manhattan Project in order to avoid arousing suspicions.

To support the requirements of our license, the our unit ensures the suitability of facilities and equipment, the completion the necessary paperwork, and provides expertise on radiation safety “best practices” for each protocol.  In some cases, we may also work to bring laboratories back into compliance and to preserve our “broad-scope” license.

  • Our primary goal is safety and compliance with the use of radioactive materials. Our unit takes measures to accomplish this goal.
  • We check radioactive materials on campus for contamination and inventory them to ensure security and safe use. We provide dosimetry and bioassay for researchers likely to receive significant doses from their work with radiation.
  • At the same time, we’re always developing training and support structure in order to empower researchers with information and tools to lower their risk from exposure to radiation. We calibrate survey meters and other radiation detection equipment at our facility, as well as in laboratories.
  • Our staff works closely with laboratories to adjust experimental protocols to minimize the production of long-lived radioactive or mixed hazardous/biohazardous and radioactive waste.
  • We collect radioactive waste from laboratories using procedures compliant with federal hazardous materials transport. We treat or decay the collected waste, if necessary, before being disposing it according to applicable federal, state, and local regulations.
  • We audit laboratories for compliance and check for unexpected levels or areas of contamination on a regular basis.

Though our role involves a great deal of required procedures and documents to ensure compliance with regulations, members of the Radiation Safety team also pride ourselves on the development of amenable and professional collaborative relationships with researchers with the goal of making compliance easier for everyone. We frequently work closely with researchers to develop innovative solutions which meet the intent of regulations while also facilitating each laboratory’s research needs. We are available to answer any questions or assist with issues involving radiation use on campus at any time.

Services provided by the Radiation Safety unit include:

  • Radiation safety programs, inspections
  • Contamination and exposure surveys
  • Mixed waste (radioactive and chemical)
  • Non-ionizing radiation (EMF, ELF, microwaves, lasers)
  • Radiation exposure monitoring
  • Radiation producing equipment inspections (x-ray)
  • Licensing for use of radioactive materials
  • Calibration of radiation detection meters
  • Radioactive waste pick-up & processing
  • Sealed sources—leak testing, inventory, receipt & disposal

Questions or concerns? Contact Us.

 

 

News and Updates

  • July 26, 2016 EH&S has a new online SAA Lab management Tool!

    EH&S is excited to announce a new laboratory management tool that will aid in allowing lab members to check their SAA’s online. This will allow for a higher level of compliance across all labs on campus and will be live starting 7/26/2016. Please click on the link below to be directed to the SAA login […]

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  • July 22, 2016 Environmental Health and Safety Starts Pilot Inventory Project at SEEC/SEEL

    EH&S’s new plan is to take inventory responsibilities off the hands of laboratory personnel and minimize the amount of overall work required to maintain an inventory through the use of students and barcodes. This workflow is for the SEEC/SEEL building only and may be temporary without the support/participation of everyone in the new building. Please see the documents below […]

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