Illinois State University has a license issued from the State of Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety (IDNS) permitting qualified persons to use certain approved radioactive materials in their research programs. The University's Radiation Safety Committee accomplishes the administration of the use of these materials permitted by the license.
This committee has as Chairman, Mr. John Goodman, Interim Director of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). Other members of the committee are the Radiation Safety Officer and representatives from Health Services, Chemistry and Biology.
The safety of individuals from the effects of both X-ray and radioisotope exposure is the responsibility of the principal user. However, Environmental Health and Safety has been given the responsibility of overseeing the program and maintaining the license for the use of the isotopes and X-rays.
At the present time the departments that have principal users are Biology, Chemistry, and Student Health Services.
Any individual faculty member may use radioactive materials in pursuit of his research or teaching; however, before obtaining the materials the following items must be completed:
Additional information, including a copy of the University's Radiation Safety Manual can be obtained from Environmental Health and Safety.
The procedures outlined below may vary with a particular emergency and are intended as general guidelines to avoid further contamination and injury to personnel.
Where there is no radiation hazard to personnel:
Where there is a radiation hazard to personnel:
Health Service personnel involved in treating exposed patients should, with the aid of the Radiation Safety Officer, do the following:
If the exposure is over 100rem or more or if the staff physician so dictates, the patient should be sent to the hospital emergency room for additional treatment or diagnosis.
For a summary of Decontamination Methods refer to the Radiological Health Handbook.
The above procedure may be repeated several times as long as the permanganate solution is not applied for more than two minutes during any one washing. Application to other parts of the body than the hands may be facilitated by the use of swabs steeped in the solution. Lanolin or hand cream should be applied after washing.
Extreme precautions must be taken to avoid cuts or puncture wounds. In the event that the skin is broken in accidents while working with radioactive substances, immediate action should be taken to remove possible contamination. Wash the wound under large volumes of running water immediately (within 15 seconds) and spread the edges of the gash to permit flushing action by the water. Light tourniquet action to stop venous return (but not to restrict arterial flow) may be desirable to stimulate bleeding. Report all wounds to the responsible medical or radiological officer as soon as emergency precautions have been taken.
Contaminated clothing shall not be released to a general service laundry. Clothing contaminated with radioactive material having short half-lives may be labeled and stored for decontamination by decay. Clothing contaminated with long-lived material shall be disposed of or sent to a laundry that is licensed by the NRC or IDNS if local decontamination is not successful.