Radiation Safety

January 2017 Safety Topic

Ionizing Radiation is a form of energy that is present all around us. Radiation occurs naturally in the atmosphere, in building materials, and even within our own bodies; therefore, everyone on the planet is exposed to radiation. Different types of radiation exist, and some have more energy than others. Background radiation levels in New York City are actually among the lowest in the world.

When radiation energy penetrates the body, e.g., when a person has an X-Ray, he or she is exposed to radiation. Use of radiation at CUIMC can be divided into two categories:

  • Radiation Producing Equipment (X-Ray): Radiation disappears the moment the equipment is turned off.
  • Radioactive Material (Nuclear Medicine, research labs): Radiation from radioactive material CANNOT be turned off but it can be safely confined.

Radiation and radioactive materials are used or stored in many areas at CUIMC. Employees receive specialized training before entering certain rooms posted with cautionary signs.

CUIMC policy requires that any employee who is likely to receive 10% of the annual radiation dose limit (500 millirem) to wear a personal dosimeter/badge.

Radiation Badge Do’s and Don’ts

  • Only wear the badge issued to you.
  • Do not take your badge home or to another workplace.
  • Return your badge on time – after you get your new badge.
  • Do not wear your badge during a medical procedure.

Each employee has the right to be informed of occupational radiation safety exposure and bioassay results. An occupational dose report is issued to each badge holder annually.

For more information about Radiation Safety, please speak to your supervisor or contact EH&S radiation safety personnel at 212-305-0303.