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Radation Safety

Northern Illinois University's Radiation Safety Program has been developed to protect faculty, staff and students from ionizing radiation. This program is in compliance with state and federal regulations. NIU is licensed by the State of Illinois to use radioactive material and x-ray generating equipment. Under that license, small amounts of radioactive material are used in research work. Researchers also use radiation producing equipment such as analytical and medical x-ray machines.

Northern Illinois University's Radiation Safety Program has been developed to protect faculty, staff and students from ionizing radiation. This program is in compliance with state and federal regulations. NIU is licensed by the State of Illinois to use radioactive material and x-ray generating equipment. Under that license, small amounts of radioactive material are used in research work. Researchers also use radiation producing equipment such as analytical and medical x-ray machines.

When is Radiation Safety Committee approval necessary and what regulations apply?

The Radiation Safety Committee reviews all activities that involve the use of radioisotopes including sealed sources, irradiators and X-Ray machines. The ordering of any radioisotope must be done through the Radiation Safety Officer. In compliance with State of Illinois regulations, NIU requires that faculty, staff and students complete additional radiological worker training before performing unescorted work assignments as a radiological worker. A radiological worker is a worker that handles radioactive materials or operates radiation-producing devices.

Principal Investigator Responsibilities

As a Principal Investigator,

I certify that the following training and information is provided for all laboratory personnel:

  • Radiation warning signs are posted in the laboratory where radioactive material is used or stored
  • All investigative staff members are trained annually by the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO). In addition, they have been informed about the policies and procedures concerning the handling and disposal of radioactive material.

I certify that the following laboratory environment safeguards are enforced at all times:

  • Access to the radioactive material is restricted
  • All work is planned with the intention of keeping exposures As Low as Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) by
    • Minimizing the time one is exposed to the radiation sources
    • Maximize the distance from radiation sources
    • Employ appropriate shielding between yourself and the radiation source
  • Personnel monitoring using dosimetry badges and rings will be used when required
  • All personnel will monitor hands, shoes, clothing and work surfaces with a low-level GM survey instrument (if appropriate for radionuclides in use) for contamination after each use of radioactive material or before leaving the restricted area.

I certify that the appropriate containment and disposal safeguards are enforced at all times:

  • Radioactive waste is to be disposed of in specially labeled receptacles only. Consult the RSO if there is mixed waste (chemical or biological with radioactive material)

I certify that the information provided in my application for Possession and Use of Radioactive Material form is accurate and any changes will be submitted to the Radiation Safety Committee for approval prior to initiation.

Radiation Safety Committee

The Radiation Safety Committee reviews and grants permission for, or disapproves, the use of radiation sources for experimental, routine, or non-routine uses within the university from the standpoint of radiological health and safety of experimenters, students, faculty, staff and the general public.

Radiation Safety Committee Chair
Joel Stafstrom, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Montgomery Hall, Room 342
815-753-3207 stafstrom@niu.edu