Environmental Health & Safety

University of Colorado Boulder


Radiation Safety Handbook Appendix O – Personnel Decontamination Procedures

This Environmental Health & Safety guideline documentation is intended for researchers working with radiation.

Revised as of October 1, 2010

  1. Contaminated skin should be washed thoroughly with soap and warm water. Do not scrub the area, as that could break the skin, increasing the chances of internal contamination. If necessary, emergency showers may be used.
  2. If the contamination involves a wound, flush the area to remove contamination and seek medical attention appropriate to the scope of the wound.
  3. Call 911 if the wound is life-threatening. If the bleeding is not severe, allow the wound to bleed as an aid in removing contamination.
  4. Contaminated clothing should be carefully removed and set aside in a plastic bag or on absorbent paper.
  5. Take a wipe smear survey of the skin to be sure it is clean. If it is twice background, repeat cleaning process.
  6. Record all wipe smear results in the laboratory’s Radiation Survey Logbook. Refer to the Radiation Survey Chapter for further information.
  7. Notify Health Physics as soon as possible at (303) 492-6523.