Emergency Preparedeness

What to do in the event of a RADIATION EMERGENCY


Radiation emergencies will typically be in the form of spills, fires or explosions. As a result, radioactive materials may be spread around a facility.

Radioactive contamination can be spread beyond the immediate spill area by the movement of personnel involved in the actual spill or cleanup effort. Prevent the spread of contamination by confining the movement of personnel until a qualified person has monitored them and found to be free of radioactive contamination.

If you discover an incident of radioactive contamination: 

  • Don’t panic! Get control of the situation.
  • Contact UT Police at x-2600 as soon as possible for assistance. If you are off campus, call 9-1-1. Be sure to provide the building name, room number, material involved, brief description of radiological incident, contact person’s name and phone number at spill site.
  • Attend to personnel injuries or emergencies first. Injuries take precedent over radioactive contamination.
  • Warn other and direct potentially contaminated personnel to stay in a controlled area of the laboratory until they have been monitored and shown to be free of contamination.
  • Isolate and contain the spill to a localized area of the laboratory. Post or tape off the affected area and establish an entry “control point” into the area.
  • DO NOT SPREAD CONTAMINATION beyond the immediate area. Leave contaminated shoes in the affected area.
  • Do not allow others into the contaminated area.
  • Initiate decontamination of any contaminated skin (soap & warm water).
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing: long-sleeve lab coat, disposable gloves, shoe covers or booties, and safety goggles.
  • Cover WET spills with paper towels or absorbent pads.
  • Cover DRY spills with slightly dampened paper towels or absorbent pads.
Last Updated: 6/26/15