Sealed radiation sources potentially present a radiation hazard both in terms of a direct external exposure and the possibility of developing a leak causing radioactive contamination. State of NC Radiation Protection Section regulations require Radiation Safety staff to inventory and leak test these sources on 6-month intervals (except for those sealed sources that have exempt status). Proper security measures are mandatory due to the mobility of many sealed sources such as moisture or soil density gauges.

Unsealed radiation sources potentially present a radiation hazard both in terms of a direct external exposure and the possibility of causing radioactive contamination during opening and handling the material. State and federal regulations require Radiation Safety to verify each PI’s unsealed source inventory during routine lab safety inspections. The use and disposal of these unsealed sources by lab personnel requires documentation on the Log-of-Use Form accompanying each stock vial received by the lab. Proper lab security measures are also mandatory due to the small size of stock containers and mobility of many unsealed sources.

Principal Investigators are responsible for contacting Radiation Safety in advance of the situations listed below:

Purchasing Sources

When sealed or unsealed source material is to be purchased from a vendor or another agency, all orders must be processed through Radiation Safety by logging into EHSA

Accepting Donated Source Material

When source material is to be donated by any outside institution, agency or individual it must be handled thru Radiation Safety.

Re-Location of Materials

  • When a sealed source is to be moved from its location, either within the same department or to another department or building, Radiation Safety must be notified prior to relocation or transfer of ownership (e.g., from one PI to another PI). Relocation also includes moving a sealed source to a different room within the same building for the same PI or another PI.
  • When unsealed material is relocated or transferred, a new Log-of-Use must be generated by Radiation Safety to allow the use of an unsealed source by another PI who must be approved for that particular radioisotope.

Surplus or Disposal of Sources

Unused, unsealed sources may be presented for disposal as waste material by entering a description into the EHSA Waste on-line system. Other radioactive sources or equipment used with radioactive material may not be disposed of via Material Management (Surplus Property Management) without prior review and approval from the Radiation Safety Office. Contact the Radiation Safety staff about possible disposal options for sealed sources and other laboratory equipment used with radioactive materials.