Radiation Safety

All uses of ionizing radiation fall under the jurisdiction of the University Radiation Safety Committee. The Radiation Safety Committee has the administrative responsibility for safe usage, obtaining necessary licenses, purchase approvals, and disposal of radiation sources. Detailed information is available in a manual titled Regulations Regarding the Safe Use of Sources of Ionizing Radiation. The Radiation Safety Office is located in Room G-7, Graduate School of Public Health, telephone 412-624-2728, fax 412-624-3562 and e-mail RSO@radsafe.pitt.edu.

Nuclear sources include all radioactive materials, both sealed and unsealed sources, and gamma irradiators, X-ray sources include diagnostic and analytic X-ray machines, particle accelerators, and other high voltage, high vacuum devices that might produce X-rays. Uses include medical, research, education and training. Work with radioactive materials must be carried out under the control of an "Authorized User," approved by the Radiation Safety Committee. All other sources of ionizing radiation must be registered with the Radiation Safety Office and must have a designated person who is properly trained and who takes responsibility for the safe use of these sources. Researchers, laboratory personnel, and other users of ionizing radiation sources must receive general training provided by the Radiation Safety Office. Training specific to the use of equipment, must be provided by the Authorized User or other responsible individuals.

Researchers and clinicians have the primary responsibility to maintain a safe working environment and to comply with regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection - Bureau of Radiological Health, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Additional rules are imposed by licensing agreements with these agencies and by the University Radiation Safety Committee. Administrators must plan and provide approved facilities, then enforce regulations and rules.

The Radiation Safety Office implements Radiation Safety Committee policies and procedures. It is staffed with professional health physicists, qualified technicians, and support personnel. Radiation Safety Office personnel are available for information about safe uses of radiation sources, procurement, waste disposal, exposure measurements, record keeping, licensing, and regulations.

The Radiation Safety Office maintains a Website at http://www.radsafe.pitt.edu/. General information, manuals, scheduling of training for radioactive materials use and certain forms are available online.