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Radiation and Laser Safety



The Radiation and Laser Safety Program addresses safety issues with radioactive material use, radiation-producing machines, and high-powered lasers. The program is designed to serve as a resource to the UTSA research and teaching community and also to assist with regulatory compliance. The program includes policies, procedures, information and safety guides, training, as well as lab evaluations and safety reviews of research protocols and assistance with selection of protective equipment.

Online Training

Laser Safety and Radiation Safety Training are available online at The Learning Source (UTSA login required).

Classroom Training

All personnel who work in a laboratory where radioactive materials are present must complete Radiation Safety Training. Submission of a certificate or a suitable memo from another institution indicating that an equivalent course has previously been taken may substitute for the UTSA course requirement. The Radiation Safety Officer will determine if a course can be substituted. It is the responsibility of radioisotope users to protect non-users through safe work practices.

Ad hoc training sessions are available on request. Contact the Radiation and Laser Safety Coordinator to schedule an ad hoc training session.

Radiation-producing Machines

The acquisition and use of radioactive material, radiation-producing machines, or high-powered lasers requires advance review and approval by the Radiation Safety Officer and the UTSA Radiation & Laser Safety Committee. For more information, contact the Radiation & Laser Safety Officer or the Radiation & Laser Safety Coordinator.

Users of radiation-producing machines must have training appropriate to a machine and its degree of hazard. For minimal-threat machines, proper instruction in the operation of the machine and acknowledging an awareness of the inherent radiation hazard of the machine may be sufficient training. For more hazardous machines such as analytical x-ray diffraction, specific training is dictated by the state regulations and must be kept on file.

Applications, Licenses & Rules

UTSA Application for Laser Use.doc177K10/24/2013
UTSA Radioactive Material License.pdf481K1/29/2013

For Radiation, Laser, X-ray, and other Laboratory safety manuals, click here.

The Texas Department of State Health Services Radiation Rules can be found here.

Waste Disposal

Radioactive waste must be accumulated and disposed according to the UTSA Radioactive Waste Disposal Instructions. Waste must be segregated by half-life (short-lived: P-32, P-33, S-35; long-lived: C-14, H-3; special hazard: I-125) and then by physical form (solid, liquid, sharps (metal and glass), scintillation vials, etc). Solid waste must be dry, liquid waste free of debris. Hazardous chemicals may only be added to radioactive waste with advance approval from Radiation Safety Personnel. Biological hazards must be inactivated before pickup. Care must be taken to avoid creating radioactive waste that is prohibitively expensive or difficult to dispose of. Fill out and submit the following form for radioactive waste pick-up. Fill out and submit the Radioactive Materials Disposal form (PDF) for radioactive waste pick-up.

For more information, contact the Radiation Safety Personnel.