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The characterization, management storage and disposal of laboratory wastes (i.e., chemical waste including hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste, radioactive or mixed waste, biohazardous and medical waste, and universal waste) is regulated and requires strict compliance with regulatory obligations.
This chapter is an overview of the requirements for working with biological hazards. You can find more detailed information about working with biological hazards in the UNC Exposure Control Plan (Bloodborne Pathogens), the UNC Biological Safety Manual and on our website.
Prevention of the spread of contamination and excessive radiation exposure is the responsibility of the Authorized User. The Authorized User is also responsible for providing radiation detection equipment to monitor removable contamination and external radiation exposure levels as appropriate. Radiation detection devices, such as liquid scintillation counters, gamma counters, and portable survey instruments, must be available.
The University is required to maintain accurate, timely records of the receipt, use, transfer and disposal of radiation sources in its possession. Authorized Users have this same responsibility for their sources. These records must be maintained by the Authorized User for at least three (3) years and be readily available for periodic review by EHS and/or regulatory personnel.
When ordering radioactive materials, purchase requisitions are to be sent directly to EHS, 1120 Estes Drive Extension, CB# 1650, for approval and forwarding to the Purchasing Department. In most instances, requisitions are forwarded within two hours after receipt by EHS. Failure to forward requisitions directly to EHS will result in their return without processing.
The body may be irradiated in two general ways; externally from radioactive material or radiation sources, or internally from radioactive material deposited in the body. External doses can be the result of exposure to gamma, x-ray, or high-energy beta emitters. Low energy beta and alpha emitters lack the energy needed to penetrate the outer layer of skin and subsequently present less of an external hazard, and are of more concern when ingested.
To obtain authorization to procure and use radiation sources, a prospective Authorized User must complete and submit applicable Schedules of the Laboratory Safety Plan. For help in completing the radioactive materials portion of the Laboratory Safety Plan, please reference “Characteristics of Commonly Used Radionuclides”.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been authorized by the State of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Radiation Protection Section, to use radiation sources in operations, education, research and development activities. The UNC-CH Radiation Safety Committee may authorize individual faculty members, as Authorized Users, to use radiation sources after a review of the proposed use, adequacy of facilities, and experience of the applicant.
The Radiation Safety Committee, appointed by the Chancellor, formulates radiation policies and procedures. Responsibility for carrying out these policies and procedures rests with the Radiation Safety Officer who directs the Radiation Safety Section of the Environment, Health and Safety Department.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (the “University”) is dedicated to maintaining a healthy work and learning environment free from the potential health hazards from exposure to smoke or vapor.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the leaders in research devoted to nanotechnology. University researchers are working with and developing novel nanomaterials between 1 and 500 nanometers (nm) in size. Currently, there is limited occupational safety information on nanoparticles and nanomaterials in the university research environment.
A moisture intrusion event is defined as an unintentional release of water, either in liquid or vapor form, into a building, including the building's envelope and mechanical system. Such events would include, but not be limited to, water/steam leaks from plumbing or mechanical systems (condensation drains, steam lines, etc.), flooding from surface runoff, water leaks from roofs and other building structure (windows, walls, etc.), and sewage backflows.
Mercury pollution is one of the most significant environmental toxins found in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a variety of public health organizations have identified mercury elimination as one of their highest priorities in recent years.
The template illustrated in Appendix A is to be followed when preparing written laser safety operating procedures (LSOP). A written procedure is to include all lasers in a laser system, including alignment lasers. This LSOP must be reviewed and approved by the LSO.
Report any injuries immediately to University Employee Occupational Health Clinic, which is located at 145 North Medical Drive and is open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday (except holidays). If an incident occurs after-hours, call Health Link, 919-966-7890. Any and all serious injuries should be taken directly to the Emergency Department.