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Receipt and Opening of RAM Packages

Introduction
Radiation Safety will order and receive all packages containing radioactive materials intended for research purposes. Briefly, the external surfaces of the packages will be monitored for radiation levels and the exterior surfaces and interior packing wiped for removable contamination. The package will also be inspected for damage or evidence of leakage. A Radiation Safety Officer will be notified immediately if one or more of the following conditions are noted:

  • Damage to the package;
  • Radiation levels at 1 meter exceed 10 mR/hr or 200 mR/hr at the surface; or
  • Removable contamination exceeds 22,000 disintegrators per minute (DPM)/100 cm2 This survey will be completed as soon as possible after receipt, but no later than three hours of initial receipt of the package. Upon completion of receipt inspection by the Radiation Safety Office, the Responsible Investigator will be notified that the package is ready for pickup.

Procedure
Individuals, groups or departments may be authorized to receive and open packages. The following receipt survey procedures should be used:

  1. Put on gloves to prevent hand contamination when opening the outer package and removing the packaging slip.
  2. Examine the package for evidence of leakage (i.e. wet spots) or damage. STOP – NOTIFY RADIATION SAFETY OFFICE IMMEDIATELY IF DAMAGE OR EVIDENCE OF LEAKAGE IS NOTED.
  3. Measure and record the radiation dose at 1 m from the package. Record the highest reading in mR/hr. STOP – NOTIFY RADIATION SAFETY OFFICE IMMEDIATELY IF THE READING EXCEEDS 10 mR/hr at 1 m.
  4. Wipe the external surface of the package. Open the outer package; locate the packing slip; compare requisition, packing slip and label on container. Wipe the inner package holding the vial or container with the radioactive material. STOP – NOTIFY RADIATION SAFETY OFFICE IMMEDIATELY IF CONTAMINATION ABOVE 200 DPM IS NOTED OR EVIDENCE OF LEAKAGE IS NOTED.
  5. Emergency contact information:
    • Morningside, Nevis, LDEO, Barnard College, Manhattanville:  854-4442 during business hours.  After hours, call Public Safety at 212-854-2797 or 4-5555 and request Radiation Safety assistance.
    • CUMC:  305-0303 during business hours.  After hours, call Public Safety at 305-8100 or 5-7979 and request Radiation Safety assistance.
  6.  Monitor the packing material and packages for contamination before discarding.
    • If contaminated, STOP – NOTIFY RADIATION SAFETY OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.
    • If not contaminated, obliterate any radiation labels before discarding in regular trash.