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Emergency
Spill Response

Spill of Radioactive Materials Emergency Response
A copy of the Spill Response Procedure should be posted in the lab. A copy of the Spill Response Procedure can be downloaded from the document list to the right.

1. Minor Spill (< 100 microcuries)
    a. Notify: Notify persons in the laboratory or affected area that a spill has occurred.
    b. Shield the Source: Cover the spill with absorbent pads. If possible, the spill should be shielded, but only if it can be done without further contamination or without significantly increasing radiation exposure.
    c. Prevent the Spread: Confine the movement of all potentially contaminated personnel and evaluate for contamination before allowing them to leave the location.
    d. Clean Up: Use disposable gloves and remote handling tongs. Carefully fold the absorbent paper and pad. Insert into a plastic bag and dispose of in the radioactive waste container. Include all other contaminated materials such as disposable gloves.
    e. Survey: With smear wipes, and if appropriate with a survey meter, check the area around the spill, hands and clothing for contamination.
    f. Report: Report the incident to the Radiation Safety Section of Environmental Health and Safety (292-1284) within 24 hours. If the spill occurs during off hours, the Radiation Safety emergency response cell number is (614) 561-7969.


2. Major Spills (> 100 microcuries)
    a. Clear the Area: Notify all persons not involved in the spill to vacate the laboratory or affected area.
    b. Call for Help: During normal office hours, notify the Radiation Safety Section - Environmental Health and Safety at 292-1284. During off-hours the Radiation Safety emergency response cell phone number is (614) 561-7969.
    c. Shield the Source: Cover the spill with absorbent pads. If possible, the spill should be shielded, but only if it can be done without further contamination or without significantly increasing radiation exposure.
    d. Prevent the Spread: Confine the movement of all potentially contaminated personnel and evaluate for contamination before allowing them to leave the location.
    e. Close the Room: Leave the room and lock the door(s) to prevent entry. Placard the door so that no one inadvertently unlocks the door or enters the room.
    f. Clean Up: Performed under the guidance of Radiation Safety personnel.


3. Personnel Contamination
    a. Notify Radiation Safety: Radiation Safety must be notified immediately of any incident involving personnel contamination, regardless of the radionuclide or activity. During normal office hours, notify the Radiation Safety Section of Environmental Health and Safety at 292-1284. During off-hours the Radiation Safety emergency response cell number is (614)561-7969.
    b. Decontaminate: Begin decontamination of skin surfaces immediately with soap and warm water. Contaminated clothing should be removed and stored for further evaluation by Radiation Safety. Decontamination should continue until no activity is detectable, but not to where effectiveness of the skin as a barrier is destroyed. Decontamination efforts should cease when the skin starts to become thin and reddened. The health of the skin should be maintained to minimize absorption and internal deposition of radioactive material.
For questions or additonal information contact your Radiation Safety Health Physicist.
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