University of Washington is licensed by the
Washington State Department
of Health, Division of Radiation Protection to possess and
use many different radionuclides. The use of most radionuclides at the
University is regulated by the DOH including accelerator-produced and
naturally-occurring radioactive materials.
The Washington State Department of Health, Division of Radiation Protection
Regulations are contained in Title 246 of the Washington Administrative Codes (WAC)
Copies of the relevant regulations are available from the
A "Notice to Employees" is posted in common places where employees frequently
pass. The Notice provides information about how to contact the
Washington State Department of Health, Division of Radiation Protection and
describes workers' rights and responsibilities.
DOH Form RHF-3
The University currently holds the following licenses to possess and
use radioactive materials:
Washington State Department of Health Type A License of broad scope
covering the use of radionuclides on campus including naturally-occurring and
Washington State Department of Health Type A License covering the use of
Cobalt-60 for radiation therapy (Gamma Knife) located at Harborview Medical Center.
These licenses are issued by the Washington State Department of Health, Division
of Radiation Protection and specify the quantities,
locations, and conditions under which radionuclides may be used at the
University of Washington. They require the University to establish policies and
procedures to ensure the accountability and safe use of radioactive materials.
Copies of these licenses are available for viewing at the Radiation Safety
Office located on the second floor of Hall Health Center. Copies will not be
provided to Authorized Investigators or Researchers unless first approved by the
Radiation Safety Committee (RSC).
Regulatory Agency Inspections
The Washington State Department of Health, Division of Radiation Protection
conducts periodic inspections of the use of radioactive materials at the
University of Washington. If violations
of the regulations or radiation safety program deficiencies are discovered,
Notices of Violations may be issued against the University, and fines and
other sanctions can be imposed.
The University of Washington Radiation Safety Committee conducts an annual
audit of the radiation safety program. This audit may be conducted by a committee
member or a qualified individual appointed by the committee.
To meet the requirements of the Washington State Department of Health, Division
of Radiation Protection and to provide a safe
working environment, the University of Washington has established a radiation safety
program with four key components:
The Radiation Safety Committee
The Radiation Safety Office
The Authorized User
The Radiation Worker
The roles and responsibilities of each are described in the following sections.
The Radiation Safety Committee, which consists of faculty members, the
Radiation Safety Officer, medical representatives from UWMC and Harborview Medical
Center, and management representatives, meets several times
a year. The Committee:
oversees the radiation safety program
authorizes the use of radioactive materials
reviews incidents involving radioactive materials
sets policies for the use of sources of radiation
gives general supervision to the implementation of those policies.
The day-to-day operation of the radiation safety program is managed
within the Radiation Safety Office (RSO) by the Universityís
Radiation Safety Officer (RSO). The Radiation Safety
Officer can be reached at 206.543.0463. The RSO and the Radiation
Safety staff advise Authorized Users and radiation workers on radiation
safety and regulatory compliance issues and provide the following services:
radiation safety training
personal monitoring and dosimetry services
radiation safety assessment for pregnant radiation workers
laboratory radiation and contamination surveys
radioactive material use authorizations
human use protocol evaluation and approval
approval of the ordering and receipt of all radioactive materials
incident, spill and contamination management
radioactive waste disposal management
to the Radiation Safety Web site
Authorized Users are faculty or, in rare instances, senior staff members who
have been approved
by the Radiation Safety Committee to use radioactive materials under specific
conditions. An Authorized User is granted approval to possess and
use specific isotopes only for the uses described in the authorization
application and is issued a possession limit for each of those isotopes.
Any person using radioactive materials at University of Washington is either
an Authorized User or is a radiation worker using radioactive materials
under an Authorized Userís supervision.
Each Authorized User is responsible for:
the health and safety of anyone using or affected by the use of radioactive
materials under his or her direction or supervision
personally attending the 8-hour Radiation Safety Class
that his/her employees, staff and visitors receive appropriate training
ensuring that his/her employees, staff and visitors comply with relevant
regulations, policies and procedures.
A radiation worker is anyone who uses radioactive materials or radiation-producing
machines. The radiation workerís thorough training, compliance with regulations
and procedures, careful work habits and respect for the health and safety
of fellow workers are an integral part of the radiation safety program.
A radiation worker who uses sealed sources has the following responsibilities:
Complete radiation safety training provided by Radiation Safety when necessary.
Be familiar with the isotopes in use; know their radiological properties,
methods of detection, the types of hazards presented by each one, and the
specific precautions and handling requirements for each isotope and sealed
Be familiar with all the relevant procedures of the radiation safety program,
including radionuclide purchasing and waste disposal procedures.
Know how to properly use the appropriate radiation survey meter.
Know the University of Washington requirements for dosimeters
and if required to
wear radiation monitoring dosimeters and exchange them promptly
at the end of the monthly or quarterly wear period.
Maintain appropriate inventory, disposal and survey records.
Secure sealed sources by making sure that the sources are locked away or
are under immediate supervision within the laboratory.
Inform coworkers and visitors to the work area about the presence of radioactive
materials and of any precautions they should take.
Know who to call in any incident involving sources of radiation and how
to handle spills, personal contamination, and loss or theft.
The University of Washington's license requires that the University
maintain very tight control over the acquisition of radioactive materials,
whether sources are purchased from a vendor or obtained as a transfer or
loan within the UW or from another institution. Using the
Online Radioactive Material Ordering System
is required for all Radioactive Materials processed at
the University of Washington. The RSO forwards the
information from the online system to the Purchasing Office. Orders must be received in the RSO
no later than 11:30 AM the working day prior to the day you would like to receive
the material. The RSO can not guarantee that material will be delivered
within 24 hours. Delivery complaints should be directed to the Purchasing Office.
All orders for radioactive materials must be placed through the
University's Purchasing Office. Researchers are not permitted to
contact a vendor directly to place an order for radionuclides.
Loans or transfers of radioactive materials from other institutions
must be approved by the RSO before arrangements are made to ship the materials.
By regulation, the Radiation Safety Office must provide the other institution
with a copy of the University's license before the material can be shipped.
You've completed the Government Regulations Module, which is the
fourth of the seven Sealed Source Radiation Basics training modules.
The next module is the Dose Limits Module.
Limits (Module 5)
back to the Sealed Source Training Introduction Page