Control of Radioactive Materials

The use of radioactive materials at the University is regulated by the Washington State Department of Health and strictly controlled by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S).

Radioactive material is ordered by authorized users and delivered to EH&S’s Radiation Safety Team, which distributes the material to authorized personnel.

Only principal investigators with an active Radiation Use Authorization may order radioactive material. Researchers who want to use radioactive material must be listed as a worker on an active Radiation Use Authorization or obtain their own use authorization.

Ordering radioactive material

Follow the instructions in the Guide for Radioactive Material requisition (Word) on the UW Procurement website.

Storing and securing radioactive material (RAM)

  • Store radioactive material in approved locations when not in use.
  • Storage locations (e.g., freezers, refrigerators, cabinets, etc.) for radioactive material stock solutions must be locked. If the storage location cannot be locked, then a lock box must be installed and secured in the storage location.
  • All rooms where radioactive material is stored must be locked when unoccupied.

Verifying radioactive material inventory

  • Twice per year an Inventory Verification Letter is sent to all labs that possess radioactive material.
  • Labs can view their current inventory and RUA online.
  • Labs are required to:
    • Conduct a physical inventory of all radioactive material to verify that they possess the radioactive material listed on the Inventory Verification Letter. Discrepancies should be noted on the letter.
    • Return the Inventory Verification Letter to EH&S within 30 days.
  • EH&S may conduct periodic inventory audits.

Disposing of radioactive material

After you are finished with the material, request a waste pickup and remove items from your online inventory.

  1. Follow the instructions on the Radioactive Waste Management page to segregate, minimize, package, and label waste.
  2. Submit a Radioactive Waste Collection Request (UW NetID login required).
  3. Log on to EHSA. Click on Inventory to submit a Usage and Disposal Record to delete the material from your inventory.

If you need access to EHSA, email Radiation Safety. Read more information about EHSA.

What you can do to stay safe

  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Practice good hygiene.
  • Minimize dose by limiting time, increasing distance or increasing shielding.

Services available

Frequently asked questions

More Information



Radiation Safety Contact

(206) 543-0463
Reference Files