Radiation Safety Program

The use of radiation sources in an institutional environment is highly regulated and poses both compliance as well as health risks if improperly managed. The University possesses a Texas DSHS Radiation Control Radioactive Material License that governs the use of both loose forms and sealed forms of radioactive materials in research, an X-Ray registration for the use of radiation producing devices in both teaching and research, and a Laser registration for the use of lasers in teaching and research.

Prior Authorization

Prior approval from the University's Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management (EHSRM) is required before placing an order for or using any type of radiation source (radioactive materials; x-rays; lasers) on the UTRGV campus. This is to ensure that the institution is licensed to have the radiation sources and that the designated laboratory space is appropriate for the activities planned. The approval process consists of completing a form outlining the activities planned with the radiation sources. EHSRM will then schedule a routine walk-through to ensure that the appropriate controls are in place. In the case of radioactive materials and x-ray sources, prior approval from the State of Texas is mandated which can take up to three months. All radiation sources are added to the Institution’s License or Registration and are subject to routine inspections by the Bureau of Radiation Control. Note that each of the respective licenses are location specific. Authorization is required prior to transferring any equipment within the university.

X-Ray Producing Machine
X-Ray Producing Machine
Laser Radiation
Laser Radiation
CAUTION: Radioactive Materials
Radioactive Materials

Surveillance Program

The State of Texas mandates that EHSRM conduct routine inspections of all radiation facilities every six months. The routine inspections ensure compliance with maintenance of records, radiation contamination limits, training requirements, as well as radioactive waste disposal. All of this information is made available to the State of Texas - Bureau of Radiation Control during routine inspections.

Survey Meter with Pancake GM Probe
Survey Meter with Pancake GM Probe
Liquid Scintillation Counter Measures Radioactive Isotopes
Liquid Scintillation Counter Measures Radioactive Isotopes

Disposal, Transfer of Sources

The Texas DSHS has strict requirements regarding the security and disposal of all sources of radiation. Cradle to Grave responsibility is a regulatory mandate. Any purchase or disposal or transfer of radioactive materials are required to go the through EHSRM to ensure regulatory compliance. Because of the lack of radioactive material disposal sites in the country, the disposal of some radiation sources are prohibitive. It is recommended that the return of a sealed source to the manufacturer or distributor is included as part of the purchasing agreement.

Caesium-137
Caesium-137
Cobalt-60
Cobalt-60
Carbon-14
Carbon-14
Tritium (Hydrogen-3)
Tritium (Hydrogen-3)

Emergency Response

Any emergencies involving the use of radioactive materials including radiation spills, lost sources, and potential exposure to radioactive materials are required to be reported immediately. This can be facilitated by calling the department during normal working hours or the Radiation Safety Officer after hours.

UTRGV Program Documents

Radioactive Materials

Radioactive Producing Machines

Lasers

Program Forms

Training

Safety training is mandated for all personnel who work with radioactive materials, radiation producing devices, or lasers. Awareness training is provided for those who share a research laboratory with a PI conducting research. Training is required to be conducted every three years.

Training is on an "as needed" basis for laboratory principal investigators and their respective employees. Contact the EHSRM to setup a training.

EHSRM Program Manager

Dr. Richard Costello

Dr. Richard Costello
Radiation Safety Officer
EEHSB 1.110
Richard.Costello@utrgv.edu
Phone: (956) 665-2903

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