Laboratory Surveillance Program

To verify that clinical and research activities minimize the hazard to employees, the general public, and the environment, routine safety evaluations are performed by Safety Specialists in the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. The Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control requires institutions and facilities using radioactive materials and radiation producing devices to perform routine surveillance. To verify that clinical and research activities minimize the hazard to employees, the general public, and the environment, Laboratory Safety evaluations are performed by Safety Specialists in the Office of Environmental Health and Safety on a routine basis.

Laboratory Safety Evaluations include a comprehensive safety review of a facility, including both physical and administrative aspects of laboratory research activities. The physical parameters include evaluating radiation levels within the laboratory, availability of proper personal protective equipment, evaluating required postings and availability of the current Radiation Safety Manual. Administrative parameters include the proper use of personal protective equipment, utilization of personal monitoring devices (ie, radiation badges), proper use of waste disposal activities and implementation of ALARA techniques when handling sources of radiation.

Any laboratory that uses and/or stores unsealed radioactive materials is required to perform and document a monthly laboratory survey of their facilities. This survey includes a Geiger counter sweep and wipes of areas in which radiation is used.

Radiation Survey Form for Laboratories - This form may be used for the monthly wipe tests.

Portable Survey Meter Calibration

Authorized Users are responsible for maintaining access to an appropriate portable survey instrument when working with moderate energy beta-particle or photon-emitting radionuclides. Portable survey instruments require a calibration with sufficient accuracy to provide an estimation of the presence of localized surface contamination. Calibration refers to the determination and adjustment of instrument response in a particular radiation field of known intensity. This process is intended to assess on a regular basis the radiation response characteristics of a particular portable survey instrument. Portable survey meters are calibrated annually by the Radiation Safety Program or outside calibration providers.