Handling Radioactive Materials
- Reduce the time of contact with radioactive materials to a minimum.
- Solid sources are most easily handled. They should be manipulated remotely. Example: Using tongs or in a glove-box.
- Any ingestion of radioactive material should be avoided. For example, radioactive particles lodged in lungs are much more dangerous and harmful than if they were outside the body.
- Radiation workers are given protective clothing and regular tests to monitor the dosage they receive.
- Limit the amount of radiation received from X-rays equipment.
- The penetrating powers of the different types of radiation gives a clue to safe practice. Pure alpha particles present little hazard when enclosed in a container; however since most alpha sources also emit gamma radiation, lead-lined containers are needed.
- In general, keep all radioactive materials in lead containers when not in use.
- Radioactive waste products must be quickly and safely disposed of. They can be encased in concrete and sealed in steel tanks and then buried underground.