Dosimeter DOs and DON’Ts by Radiation Safety

Columbia University has a commitment to maintain radiation doses ALARA – As Low As Reasonably Achievable. Personal dosimeters (radiation badges) are used by faculty, staff and students to gauge the level of radiation dose, if any, they may have accumulated. After being returned by the wearer, the badges are sent to a vendor for processing, and evaluated by the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) to verify that doses are below regulatory limits and ALARA. This is the most important reason for returning all badges at the designated end of the wear period. Timely return is important to ensure appropriate action can be taken to reduce future exposure, if warranted.

The RSO must be notified in writing if your badge is lost, stolen, if you move into another department, or if you are planning to leave your job. The “Employee Changes/Cancellations Form” is located on our website at, and must be submitted in person or by email to The badge will be deactivated, and an accurate, updated list of current badge users can be maintained. You should also return dosimeters that are old or outdated, even if they are for someone who is no longer with the institution.

When wearing dosimeters:

  • Wear badges during procedures involving radioactivity or x-rays.
  • Report lost badges & fill out a lost badge form.
  • Indicate deletions on the packing list that is enclosed with the badges.
  • Inform the Radiation Safety Program  of badge coordinator changes.

Do Not:

  • Share or discard badges.
  • Use your Columbia badge at another institution or wear a badge from elsewhere while at Columbia.
  • Bring badges home – they are meant as an occupational monitor.

The most recent dosimetry reports are posted by the supervisor or badge coordinator in each department in an area where personnel can view their exposure levels. For further questions about your badges or personal dosimetry, please email or call (212)305-0303.

New Additions to EH&S

Please join us in welcoming Nicola Epps, Administrative Assistant and
Daniela Nicoletti, Dosimetry Coordinator to the EH&S team this past Fall 2013.

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