Safety Rules in Radio Chemistry
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Before any of the students start to work in the lab they should have completed the following:
- Answer and deliver the question sheet with repetition questions.
- Read, understand and sign off on a safety protocol for working in a Radiochemistry laboratory.
In the laboratory there are measurement instruments that can to be used to check the amount of radioactivity and where it is. Hence you can verify that neither you nor your fellow students are exposed to irradiation above the safe limits.
For people who are pregnant the rules for exposure are especially strict, nevertheless the amount of activity in most student course exercises are so small that there are no health concerns. In exercises which use larger amount of radioactivity, you will be specially briefed and this will be made quite clear to everybody participating. Do not hesitate to discuss any safety concerns with either your supervisor or radiation protection officer.
The ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle is the main guideline for all rad. work and should be followed at all times: No person should be exposed to more radiation than absolutely necessary to carry out the work. Therefore all work done with radioactivity should be done meticulous and planned in advance. Mistakes or carelessness could easily contaminate yourself and/or persons around you. To avoid this keep equipment that has been in contact with activity separated from equipment that is not contaminated and keep workbenches etc. tidy and clean.
When planning the exercise one should always think about the precautions one must use so that no active material is spread. Therefore certain rules must be followed:
- Special lab-coat (not your own) shall be used during all work in the laboratory and it shall not be taken out of the laboratory
- There shall be no eating or smoking in the laboratory, this includes gum or sweets of any kind.
- Only needed papers and writing material shall be taken into the laboratory.
- Purses and other personal effects shall be put in the wardrobe.
- Before an exercise starts all the equipment needed must be at the work station.
- Conduct the exercise with non active materials first, then move over to the active material material.
- Gloves and glasses must be used when there is danger of contamination and spilling, control measurements of the gloves must be done before they are removed.
- All exercise with radioactive material shall be done on a plate of plastic with high edges with absorbing paper in the bottom.
- Control on regular intervals that there is no unnecessary spreading of active material, measure gloves and equipment during the exercise.
- Tell the counsellor of any accident leading to contamination of persons, equipment or environment.
- All solid active waste shall be put in special marked plastic jars. Glass and metal shall not be mixed with paper and plastic. Solutes are poured in designated containers. Flammable organic liquids are to be kept separated from aquatic liquids. Radioactive solutes shall not, under any circumstances be poured uncontrolled into the sink.
- when a exercise is done the clean the work-station. Clean all the equipment and control it for contamination, so that it is ready for further use. All active material shall, before they are removed, get marked and eventually get shielded.
- When leaving the laboratory, hands must be washed. If the activity is high a hand/foot monitor should be present so that it is possible to measure for contamination.