Environmental Health & Safety

Record Keeping in Laboratories

This fact sheet provides guidelines for the documentation of radioactive material use and surveys in research laboratories using radioactive material. Other records that should be kept on file include packing slips from radioactive material packages, copies of certificates of training for your staff and sink disposal records. Individuals responsible for radiation safety in the laboratory should review this to ensure the laboratory is in compliance with city radiation safety regulations. When the Radiation Safety Officer comes to your laboratory for quarterly inspections he will be looking for these records.

Wipe Tests: Wipe tests are to be performed monthly at a minimum in a laboratory where radioactive material is used. The results of the wipe tests must be documented and kept on file for review by Radiation Safety during the quarterly inspections. It consists of a wipe test map indicating the locations tested and the printout from the liquid scintillation counter. The results should be recorded in disintegrations per minute (dpm) (see attached explanation for converting from cpm to dpm). This documentation includes results of wipe tests conducted after decontaminating an area to confirm that it is clean.

Inventory Records: Authorized Users must keep a log of the amount of radioactive material purchased, used and disposed of as radioactive waste. This may be done by use of the attached form or the Authorized User may develop his/her own form to track the material use. However, it is important that the Authorized User documents the date that he/she receives radioactive material, and the radioisotope and amount received. In addition, each user must document the amount of radioactive material removed from the container for an experiment, the date that he/she removed it and how it was disposed of as radioactive waste. Radioactive waste may be either liquid waste, solid waste, liquid scintillation vials, or animal carcasses. The activity of the radioactive waste is an estimate of the amount being disposed of. When making this estimate you should be conservatively high to ensure that you do not under estimate the activity.

Packing Slips: The packing slip should be included with the inventory record to document the purchase of the material.

Certificate of Training: All member of your staff need to attend radiation safety training offered by the Radiation Safety Officer. If the individual passes the training he/she will receive a certificate indicating completion of the training. A copy of the certificate should be kept on file to document that individuals working with radioactive material in the laboratory have completed the training.

Sink Disposal Record: The sink disposal records that you keep near the sink for disposal of radioactive material should be kept on file for review by the RSO during quarterly inspections. It may be kept with the Inventory records.

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