Radiation Emergency Procedures

If you are exposed to the direct x-ray beam, or suspect an exposure, immediately follow these steps:

  1. Shut off the x-ray beam.
  2. Remain calm. Call the contacts below until:
    1. medical advice is obtained and
    2. the incident is reported.

Medical Advice/Incident Reporting

  • James Larson, M.D., Director, Emergency Medicine: 919-966-5643
  • EHS: 919-962-5507
  • M.A. Varia, M.D.: 919-966-7700
  • AFTER HOURS CONTACT, UNC Police: 911 (Ask for Radiation Safety Assistance)

Safety Procedures

X-Ray diffraction and spectrographic devices generate in-beam radiation dose rates of 30 to 7000 rads/sec. Severe tissue damage can be inflicted by very brief exposures to these high dose rates. Surgical treatment or amputation may be required when small body parts, such as fingers, receive greater than 1000 rads.

It is imperative that stringent safety precautions be applied when using these devices. Safety precautions include mechanical and electrical guards as well as proper training and instruction. The following safety procedures have been established to help prevent accidents. Adherence to these rules is mandatory.

  1. No person shall be permitted to operate analytical x-ray machines until they have:
    1. Received instructions in relevant radiation hazards and safety.
    2. Received instructions in the theory and proper use of the machine.
    3. Demonstrated competence, under supervision, to safely use the machine.
  2. Radiation exposure to the operator and others shall be kept as low as practicable. Radiation safety surveys shall be conducted periodically.
  3. Operators shall wear finger-ring and body radiation badges, asassigned by the rso, while using the equipment.
  4. operators shall remain in constant attendance while the x-ray beam is on, or the device shall be secured against access by unauthorized persons.
  5. Any changes in the status or location of a device shall be referred to the radiation safety officer for prior approval.