Radiation Safety

The Radiation Safety Committee and the Radiation Safety Office are responsible for the safe use of ionizing radiation on campus. It is the policy of Kansas State University that all exposures to ionizing radiation be as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA).

Complete information concerning the procurement, storage, use, handling, and disposal of radioactive material and use of radiation producing devices can be found in the Radiation Safety Manual, which is available from EHS.

Radioactive Materials


Authorization for the use of radioactive materials must be obtained by the faculty member responsible for the research (instructor or higher). The application form to become an Authorized Principle Investigator is available on the EHS website or through the Radiation Safety Office. The Radiation Safety Officer will meet with the potential user and present the application to the Radiation Safety Committee for final approval. The authorization will only cover the radioisotope quantities, procedures, and areas requested.


Personnel working with radioactive materials should maintain strict adherence to the general laboratory safety precautions as outlined in this manual.

All laboratory personnel working with radioisotopes must be properly trained. Annual training in the use of radioisotopes is available through EHS. Other times may be arranged by contacting the Radiation Safety Officer.

If a radiation meter is kept in the laboratory, it must be registered and calibrated annually. This process is provided by EHS.

All radioisotopes must be shipped to EHS, 108 Edwards Hall. Department personnel will then deliver the shipment to the authorized laboratory.

Disposal of radioisotopes must be made through EHS. Radioactive waste is regularly picked-up from laboratories. Radioactive waste labels are available free from EHS. For pick-up, contact us through one of the following:

Phone: (785) 532-5856

E-mail: safety@ksu.edu

Web: /safety


Containers in which radioactive material is stored shall have a firmly affixed durable, clearly visible label bearing the radiation symbol and words CAUTION (or DANGER) RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL. Labels on storage containers shall also state the quantities and kinds of radioactive materials and date of measurement. Stored radioactive material should be kept in a locked container within a locked room. Reasonable protection shall be provided against loss or leakage by the effects of fire or water.

Equipment such as glassware used for radioactive material shall be kept separate from other equipment. Once used with radioisotopes, the equipment shall not be used for other work or shall not be sent to the repair or glass shop until demonstrated to be free of contamination. A storage cabinet marked with an official radiation symbol should be provided for glassware and tools used in radioisotope work.


Except for the most minor of spills, the Radiation Safety Office MUST be contacted. Work involving unsealed radioactive sources should occur over absorbent paper or trays to contain any potential spills. In the event of a spill outside of these protective barriers, care should be taken to not spread the contamination. This includes blotting and not wiping the spill, containing it to as small of an area as possible and closing but not leaving the area to prevent tracking the material over a wider area. Keep in mind the chemical and physical properties of the material before attempting to remove it.

Radiation Producing Devices

All radiation producing devices (particle accelerators, X-ray machines, electron microscopes, etc.) must be registered with the Radiation Safety Office. They will determine if the machines are housed and operated so that the radiation exposures are as low as reasonable achievable.