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Radioactive Decontamination Procedures

Janet Cornett 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… Click To Tweet

Areas

  • 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

Personnel

  • 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

Equipment

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

Sign Up for The HAZWOPER 8-Hour Annual Refresher Plus GHS Hazardous Communication Offered by 360Training.com to Learn More About Radioactive Decontamination Procedures

Sources

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiationionizing/introtoionizing/ionizinghandout.html

https://www.ehss.vt.edu/uploaded_docs/201408121331320.DECONTAMINATION.pdf

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