Eating & Drinking in Radioisotope Laboratories
Eating, drinking, or other similar activities (consuming medicines,
applying cosmetic products, etc.) in rooms labeled as radioisotope use
areas is not permitted except under the following conditions:
- Any area in which eating and drinking occur must be designated as
an Eating/Drinking Area. The Radiation Safety Committee must grant specific
approval to an Authorized User to designate an area to be an Eating/Drinking
Area. The Committee will take into account the nature of the radioisotope
activities in the lab before approving an Eating/Drinking Area, e.g.,
a laboratory using Na125I may not be granted approval.
- Laboratories in which use or storage of state-licensed radioactive
materials occurs cannot contain spaces designated as Eating/Drinking
- In general, there must be a minimum separation of 5 feet between any
locations in which radioactive materials are used or stored and an Eating/Drinking
Area. However, the Committee may allow smaller separations if the Committee
determines that factors such as the presence of walls or other physical
barriers or the nature of the radioactive source (e.g., a sealed source)
will prevent contamination from readily spreading into the Eating/Drinking
- An Eating/Drinking Area must be designated with signage stating “Eating/Drinking
Area - No radioactive materials are permitted within this area.”
- Radioisotope work and storage areas must be designated with signage,
tape, or other labeled barriers to indicate that radioactive materials
are stored or used beyond this point.
- Laboratory personnel must remove gloves and wash and survey hands
after working with radioisotopes, and prior to entering an Eating/Drinking
- A waste receptacle must be provided within the Eating/Drinking Area
and used only for non-laboratory trash.
- If the layout of the lab is such that it is necessary to carry food
or beverages to the Eating/Drinking Area by passing through the radioisotope
use area, it is not permitted to eat or drink while passing through
the radioisotope use area, and personnel carrying food or beverages
must pass through the radioisotope area without lingering.
- EHS shall conduct spot checks for contamination within and at the
boundary of Eating/Drinking Areas as part of its routine laboratory
- Permission for an Eating/Drinking Area within a laboratory will be
revoked if EHS finds radioactive material or contamination within an
Eating/Drinking Area or if violations of these requirements are observed.
Adopted June 2003 by the Radiation
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