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Supporting UNC Institutions

Radiation SafetyThe Radiation Safety section provides radiation safety services to other University of North Carolina system institutions that do not have the expertise to handle some program requirements or the budget to hire consultants. This benefits the UNC system with cost-savings realized by smaller campuses, as well as helping the smaller campuses maintain compliance with regulatory requirements. The ability to provide radiation safety services is requested for and approved by the regulatory agency through radioactive materials licenses. Additionally, the Radiation Safety staff provide expertise and support for issues regarding potential exposure to non-ionizing radiation.

In 2017, services were provided to Gateway University Research Park (UNC-G and NC A&T), Western Carolina, Appalachian State, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Charlotte, NC A&T, UNC Pembroke, NCCU, UNC-TV and WUNC Public Radio. Services included radiation detector calibrations, X-ray machine surveys, radiation protection program reviews, laser safety program and training, radioactive materials disposal recommendations and risk communications to a childcare facility near a radio transmission tower.

Radiation detector calibration services covered as many as 38 survey meters, while program reviews require full audits of programs resulting in a report providing non-compliance items and recommendations for improvements. These types of reports are required of the other campuses by the North Carolina Radiation Protection Section. The UNC-Chapel Hill Radiation Safety staff is dedicated to supporting the University of North Carolina system.

Performance measurement is a critical part of the EHS management system. Education, customer service and internal processes are the three most essential components of our work. The chart below indicates the performance in these areas over a five-year period with Level Four representing optimum performance. The adjacent tab shows the specific performance activities and the level of that performance for 2017.

Components, Years and Level Completed
Education Customer Service Internal Processes
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
2 2 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3


  • Administered radiation safety training courses to 2082 persons and non-ionizing radiation safety training to 631 persons.
  • Taught Radiologic Health Physics course (RADI-585) for UNC Allied Health Sciences.
  • Provided lectures for the Chemistry Department’s (CHEM-073) Nuclear Chemistry Class.
  • Provided a lecture for the Epidemiology Class (EPID-785) on Radiation Dose Assessment.
  • Provided a lecture for the Health Effects of Environmental Agents (ENVR-430) course.
  • Provided a lecture for the Health Hazards of Industrial Operations (ENVR-433) course.
  • Hosted eight Nuclear Medicine Technology students for two-week rotations through radiation safety as part of the NMT didactic program.
  • Annual radiation safety class was given in August to incoming Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program PhD students.
  • Annual radiation safety class was given in May to incoming Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Program students.

Customer Service

  • Services were provided to the hospital and patients for 177 radiation-related procedures.
  • Radiation instrument calibration services were provided for 249 instruments.
  • Inspected and tested 206 X-ray tubes.
  • Monitored 1,181 persons for external radiation exposure.
  • Conducted 68 bioassays for potential internal radiation exposure.
  • Provided 593 collaborative laboratory inspections.
  • Conducted 485 radiation safety laboratory inspections.
  • Coordinated with DLAM, SOM administration, researchers, and vendors to repair a gamma irradiator that was out of service interrupting time-sensitive research.
  • Provided radiation safety services (including instrument calibration and/or annual program reviews) to sister campuses in the UNC system (Appalachian State, UNC Greensboro, Gateway University Research Park, Western Carolina, NC A&T, and North Carolina Central).
  • Provided free materials to PI’s including lead sheets and bricks, Geiger counters or parts, and multiple pieces of plexiglass shielding.

Internal Processes

  • Received, processed, and delivered 385 containers of radioactive materials for principal investigator research.
  • Processed four applications for new source licenses for new faculty members.
  • Processed 18 applications for license modifications for faculty members.
  • Reviewed 26 Institutional Review Board research protocols utilizing radioactive materials for human use.
  • Administered eight quarterly hospital and campus radiation safety committee meetings to review and approve research and clinical use of radioactive materials and to review employee radiation dose information.
  • Amended the UNC-CH and UNC Healthcare radioactive material licenses three to accommodate research and clinical use of radiation and radioactive materials.
  • Participated in planning and design activities for Cryo-electron microscope facility.
  • Conducted required annual radiation protection program review for eight licenses and 21 X-ray registrations, including all off-site locations.