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Radioactive Decontamination Procedures

Editorial Team July 25, 2018 0

Radiation Can Be Caused By a Variety of Sources

  1. Naturally Occurring Materials. Example: Radon in Mining
  2. Industrial and Medical Radioisotopes. Example: Tracer Elements
  3. High Voltage Devices. Example: X-Ray Machines and Radar Generators


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Effects of Radiation

Radiation Can Destroy the Capacity for Cell Reproduction and/or Cause Cell Mutation.

A Person Exposed to Radiation is at Risk of:

  • Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Cataracts
  • Organ Failure
  • Abortion
  • Bone Marrow Damage

How to Decontaminate Radiation

Decontamination can be accomplished through a range of methods. The different methods employed depend on who or what needs to be decontaminated.

Decontamination can be accomplished through a range of methods. The different methods employed depend on who or what needs to be decontaminated. Click To Tweet


  • Area contamination includes rooms, floors, table and bench tops, and other surfaces
  • Extent of contamination must be determined through a detailed survey
  • Affected areas should be outlined with a magic marker or wax pencil, and cleaned up promptly

Procedure for Small Areas with Dry Contamination

  • Press duct or masking tape to affected area and remove

Procedure for Large Areas

  • Apply a decontamination solution
  • Move from low- to high-activity areas
  • Use a brush where sponges or towels are insufficient
  • Abrasives, acids, bases, and organic solvents can also be used

* Areas with High Activity or Widespread Contamination Must Be Decontaminated Under RSO Supervision


  • Skin contamination can be removed by applying ordinary soap and cool water
  • Work the soap into a good lather
  • Wash affected areas for several minutes
  • Monitor affected areas before and after to determine effectiveness of decontamination

* Decontamination of Ears, Eyes, Mouth, and Nose Should Only Be Attempted Under the Supervision of an RSO and Medical Personnel


There are Two Types of Equipment Decontamination Techniques

  • Corrosive
  • Non-Corrosive

The Technique Used Depends on:

  • Size of Equipment
  • Extent of Decontamination
  • Chemical Form of Decontamination
  • Construction of Equipment

Wash Equipment With a Special Decontamination Solution

Soak For Up To 24 Hours, Depending on Intensity of Contamination

Dilute Acids and Bases, Organic Solvents, Steel Wool, and Sandpaper Can Be Used

Decontamination with 360Training.com

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