Frequently Asked Questions

Working with Ionizing Radiation at FIU requires all personnel to follow procedures and rules specified in FIU’s Radiation Safety Manual. Ionizing radiation includes nuclear radiation (alpha, beta, gamma and neutrons) as well as machines that generate x-rays. The 50+ FAQs below are organized as listed below to help you find the FAQs you need.

  1. Authorized Users (AUs) for chemical Radioactive Materials (RMs) for R&D
    • Researchers starting to work with RMs  - 5 FAQs (Questions 1 - 5)
    • Compliance for ongoing work with RMs - 43 FAQs (Questions 6 - 48)
    • Closing out work with RMs, Contaminated Equipment and Decontaminating Lab(s) - 2 FAQs (Questions 49 - 50)
  2. Authorized Users for sealed radioactive sources
    • Sealed sources (>100 microCuries) - 1 FAQ (Question 51)
    • Small, low radioactivity, check sources - 1 FAQ (Question 52)
  3. Authorized Users for X-ray emitting devices - 3 FAQs (Questions 53 - 55)
  4. FIU Facilities (construction, operations, maintenance) use of devices with radioactive materials inside (e.g. exit signs with tritium) - 1 FAQ (Question 56)
  • 1. I am interested in using radioactive materials (RMs) for research at FIU. How can I do this?

    Radioactive materials at FIU are used under a radioactive material broad scope license issued by the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Radiation Control. To use radioactive materials at FIU, you must be an Authorized User for radioactive materials or work under the supervision an Authorized User, in a lab authorized for radioactive work.

  • 2. What do I need to become an Authorized User of RMs?

    The FIU Radiation Safety Manual and EH&S website (under Radioactive Materials, Radioactive Sources and X-ray Devices) describe procedures for becoming an authorized user and for obtaining authorization of your lab for Rad work. You should also contact the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) for answers to any questions.

    To become an Authorized User for radioactive materials or X-ray devices:

    • Submit properly completed application package to the RSO (giving details of the isotopes, radioactivity, protocol for use, lab location and floor plan, and security and access control) along with copy of your resume or CV, training and experience with radiation, and copies of the relevant completed training certificates.
    • Complete FIU relevant radiation safety training(s) and submit copy of the training certificate(s) to RSO.
    • The RSO will review the application package and forward to the FIU Radiation Control Committee (RCC) for review and approval (RCC review is 10 days or less).
    • The RCC will evaluate the application and may request additional information or request a meeting with the applicant or the RSO.
    • The RCC will approve your designation as an Authorized User within 10 days or let you know through the RSO what else you need to do for approval.
  • 3. What is the Radiation Control Committee (RCC)?

    The RCC is the governing body for all aspects of radiation protection within the university. One of the requirements for maintaining FIU’s Broad Scope Radiation License is the establishment and ongoing functioning of the RCC. The RCC is Chaired by FIU’s VP for Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) or the VP’s designate. It also includes the Radiation Safety Officer, and Authorized Users trained and experienced in the safe use of radioactive materials or X-ray Devices (one per academic department that has Authorized Users). The RCC acts as a check on the RSO and on the entire Radiation Protection Program. It has 3 primary roles: (1) approve new Authorized Users (AUs) and protocols from AUs; (2) meet twice each year to review all activities of the Radiation Safety Officer and the Radiation Safety Program over the past 6 months to ensure compliance with Florida regulations; (3) review all radiation safety documents, webpages, etc. for clarity and accuracy. The RSO works with all applicants for Authorized User on their application and with approved AUs on new protocols and on all edits to documents and webpages.  This ensures the RCC has thorough, well-written applications, protocols and document edits to review and suggest changes.  The RSO with RCC review helps FIU ensure its compliance with pertinent federal and state regulations and with the specific conditions of licenses issued to the University by the Florida BoRC regulator.

  • 4. How long does it take to be become an Authorized User?

    If the documents submitted to the RSO are complete and appropriate, authorization takes about 2 weeks.

  • 5. Can an Authorized User of RM work with any radioisotope and any quantity?

    No, the authorized user will be authorized to work with certain isotopes and certain maximum amount of radioactivity (e.g. 1 millicurie of P-32). The total radioactivity of all FIU Authorized Users for any isotope shall not exceed the limit for that isotope listed in the FIU broad scope radioactive material license.

  • 6. I will be working under the supervision of an Authorized User. I need to use a radioisotope for which he/she is not authorized. How can I do that?

    The Authorized User that supervises you must be authorized for the radioisotope he/she plans to use. As described above, he/she should submit an application package to the RSO for authorization for new isotopes or for authorization for increased quantity of the authorized radioisotopes.

  • 7. I am a student at FIU. Should the authorized user for the lab where I work be physically present at all times when I use radioactive materials?

    Your Authorized User need not be present all time, but he/she or another FIU rad worker (non-student) from the same lab must be on campus to guide you, if something goes wrong. Alternate arrangement can be made with another authorized user of the same type of radioactive material or with the RSO.

  • 8. I am a student at FIU. My supervisor has to be away for urgent work and I need to complete a time bound project. Can I work with radioactive materials in his/her absence?

    There may be options. However, you must discuss the problem with the RSO. He/she may authorize you for a limited time, if you are able to demonstrate that you can handle radioactive materials safely and he/she or another authorized user is available to provide required supervision.

  • 9. Do I need to complete any formal training before working with radioactive materials?

    Yes, you need to complete an on-line radiation safety training for radioactive materials and then hands-on radiation safety training for radioactive materials (demo of 4 skills and a written exam). You must pass both trainings to receive certificates of successful completion to allow you to then work with radioactive materials.

  • 10. Is there any refresher training that a radiation worker should complete?

    Yes, all radiation workers need to complete refresher training every 3 years. The On-line radiation safety training serves the purpose of refresher training and can be taken from any computer with internet connection. Please go to, log in using your FIU credentials, then search/find: "Radiation Safety".

  • 11. Is there any training for non-radiation workers who enter radiological labs?

    Yes, the Radiation Safety Officer offers radiation awareness training to those persons (students, custodians, Facilities Management staff, property control, UTS, safety inspectors, public safety, etc.) who are not radiation workers but enter radiological labs. Many labs at FIU have multiple researchers and hazards.  It is the responsibility of the Lab Manager or the PIs on projects to have a written presentation of the hazards in the lab (e.g., several slides on hazards and safety of radioactive materials (RM) to provide to those not working with RM in the lab). Contact the RSO.

  • 12. Is there any radiation safety training for X-ray machines, analytical devices (e.g. bone densitometers, medical, x-ray diffraction, electron microscope)?

    Yes.  This is an online training that requires recertification every 3 years. Rad workers accessing x-ray devices and not radioactive material need only this one training and to apply online for a dosimeter. Please go to, log in using your FIU credentials, then search/find: "X-ray Devices".

  • 13. Do the radiation workers wear any dosimeters for monitoring their exposure to ionizing radiation?

    Yes.  All workers handling radioactive material with the exception of weak energy beta and pure alpha emitters (e.g., H-3, C-14, S-35) wear Thermoluminescent (TLD) radiation monitoring badges that record their exposures to radiation. The processing of the badges by a commercial company provides amount of exposure received by rad workers.

  • 14. What types of radiation dosimeters are used at FIU for monitoring radiation exposure?

    Two types of dosimeters are used: whole body badges (worn for 3 months or longer) and ring dosimeters (worn for 1 month or longer).

    Ring dosimeters are used when the exposure to the hand can be significant. These badges and rings are distributed by EHS and older ones are returned after the dosimeters are received by those required to wear dosimeters. EHS sends dosimeters to the dosimetry service company for evaluation of the exposures received. The RSO provides report of exposures to each radiation worker annually (or earlier if their exposure exceeds 100 mrem). The RSO typically will contact Authorized Users if exposures exceed 25 mrem. The majority of dosimeters have 0 mrem (non-detectable exposure).

  • 15. What are the limits of annual exposures of FIU adult radiation workers?

    1,000 mrem for the whole body; 3,000 mrem to the eye lens; 12,000 mrem to skin or extremity (e.g., fingers). The millirem (mrem) is a unit of dose equivalent. For declared pregnant women, limits are lower. See FIU’s Radiation Safety Manual.

  • 16. What are the limits of annual exposures of minors or members of the public?

    100 mrem.

  • 17. Can I work with radiation producing equipment or radioactive material if I am pregnant? Any special limits or requirements for this?

    Generally, yes. The vast majority of work performed at FIU with radioactive materials can continue without modification during pregnancy. However, formal notification and evaluation is required. Once a person officially informs her employer in writing of her pregnancy (Pregnancy Declaration), new dose limits apply and the person must obtain a second dosimeter. This second badge is worn at the waist to monitor the exposure to the unborn child. Regulations require that the dose exposure is less than:

    • 500 mrem during the entire pregnancy
    • 50 mrem during any one month
  • 18. How can I obtain a TLD (dosimeter) ring or body badge?

    Individuals who have completed the required radiation safety trainings and will be working with radioactive materials (or X- rays) as (or under) an Authorized User will be issued TLD badges. The individual is required to complete the online Radiation Dosimeter Assignment Form. Found on EHS’s website. Prior to applying for a TLD, those working with RMs must pass Radiation Safety for Radioactive Materials Training PT 1 (Online) and PT 2 (Hands On) must be completed.  Those working with X-ray devices must pass the online X-ray Device Safety Training. Those working with both x-ray devices and RM must complete all 3 trainings.  The RSO and the AU will determine the need for workers wearing rings or badges.

  • 19. What is procedure for ordering radioisotopes?

    Complete the requisition form, obtain the signature of the Authorized User and submit to the RSO via email for approval. 

    See: Radioactive Materials Ordering Procedure 

    All radioactive materials must be shipped to the location specified on the FIU Broad Scope Radioactive Materials License (FIU Environmental Health & Safety, 11200 SW 8th Street, Modesto Maidique Campus, CSC 162, Miami, FL 33199). 

  • 20. Does the Authorized User receive the radioisotope directly from the company?

    No, the radioisotope is first received by the RSO at the location specified on FIU’s Broad Scope Radiation License. Then the RSO calls the AU for his/her availability (or another certified radworker under that AU) and delivers the isotope(s) to the lab. The RSO also delivers the “Radioactive Material Use Record” form and obtains signature to record delivery of the isotope and the Use Record.

  • 21. Do I need to obtain approval from the RSO to purchase of X-ray equipment?

    Yes, purchase of all devices that produce ionizing radiation must be approved by the RSO.

    Contact RSO or for more information.

  • 22. Are any radiation surveys required when an isotope is received?

    Yes, within 3 hours after the receipt of the isotope the RSO measures dose rate on the external surface of the package and collects wipes to determine removable contamination. After the isotope is delivered to the lab, the authorized user performs radiation level and contamination check on source container and internal packing.

  • 23. Where and how long are records of radiation surveys maintained?

    They are kept by the Authorized User (AU) in the RM lab for 3 years and must be easily accessible to RSO and any Florida regulator. If an AU closes out a RM lab and all work with RM, the RSO will maintain the records for the required 3 years.

  • 24. How often are radiation surveys to be performed in radioactive materials labs?

    Authorized User (or trained designate) must survey the lab on the day of receipt of the isotope and every day the primary source container is handled in the lab. Even if the isotope is not used the surveys must be conducted on the day of receipt of the isotope.  A weekly wipe test is also required of all areas where radioactive materials are used. The protocol approved by the RCC for the use of RM in the lab specified the location and number of these wipe locations in a lab diagram. Surveys must be done with a suitable survey meter (matched to the type of radiation from the RM). Weak beta emitters such as tritium (H-3) cannot be measured on wipes by portable survey meters and should be counted in a suitable instrument (e.g. a liquid scintillation counter).

  • 25. Is a weekly radiation survey required if no radioactive material is received or used for one or more weeks?

    Yes, a weekly survey with a meter is required by the regulator for radioactive materials, the Florida Bureau of Radiation Control. Weekly wipe survey for removable contamination shall be completed during weeks of use for all areas where radioactive materials or waste are routinely used or stored.  Even when no radioactive materials are handled weekly the survey is modified to check all areas where radioactive materials or radioactive waste are stored. Even if the Authorized User is away from FIU, weekly surveys must continue. Failure to do so is a violation of FIU’s License and could result in suspension of the privilege to use radioactive materials. When an Authorized User puts in writing that absolutely no one will enter any taped off Radioactive Areas in the lab for a period of time, the RSO can issue a waiver from the weekly required surveys for the specified period.  The RSO checks these records every quarter in the audit of all RM labs.

  • 26. Do radioactive materials labs require any special postings?

    Yes, outside door of radioactive materials labs shall have two postings: 

    1. The FIU Lab Hazards ID and Emergency Contact Chart; and
    2. The "Radioactive Materials Immediately Notify" sign from the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control (BoRC).

    The international symbol for ionizing radiation shall be listed as a hazard on the FIU Hazards ID Chart. The sign required by BoRC has the following header:

    • "In the Even of Accident, Damage, Loss, Theft, Spill, or Contamination Involving Radioactive Materials, Immediately Notify"

    All containers containing radioactive materials must be labeled with radioisotope and "Radioactive Materials." If a container is small, then the rack containing the small container can carry this label. This can be done by writing on yellow tape or with special commercial tape with this information. 

    Finally, labs with areas that are free from radioactive materials and others with radioactive materials must have yellow tape with ionizing radiation symbol on it separating these areas on counters and floors.

  • 27. Do radioactive material labs require any special facilities, equipment, or supplies?

    Yes, all radiological labs in which radioactive materials in unsealed form are used should be equipped with:

    • fume hood of proper flow rate (80-120 LFM)
    • shielding appropriate for radiation
    • plastic backed absorbent paper for lining radioactive work surfaces
    • labeled container for storage of radioactive waste (plastic bags or drums)
    • radiation survey instrument
    • wipe papers
    • a floor that is impervious to liquid contamination (no open cracks, no unsealed surface area)
    • etc.
  • 28. How do I dispose of radioactive waste?

    Store radioactive waste streams separately- liquid, solid, short half-life (half-life 90 days or less), long-lived (half-life > 90 days), and mixed waste (hazardous plus radioactive). Store separately waste for each radionuclide. Label the container surface with radioactive material tag giving information regarding the waste (radionuclide, radioactivity, date, lab location, etc.). There should be no radiation tag inside the container. Download, complete, and email to the RSO the "Radioactive Waste Pick up” form from EH&S website:

    Request for Radioactive Waste Pick Up.pdf

    The RSO will schedule the pick-up.

  • 29. What do I need to do to transfer radioactive materials to another Authorized User at FIU?

    Ensure that the authorized user / PI is authorized to use the radionuclide. Call the RSO. The RSO will confirm that the Authorized User can receive the radioactive material. The RSO will deliver the radioactive material to the other Authorized User's lab.

  • 30. An Authorized User for RM wants to relocate to a new location. What is he/she required to do?

    The new lab must be authorized for radioactive material use. See procedure above for authorizing a radioactive materials lab.  The previous application for working with RM (protocol) would need minor editing with new location and new locations for spots for swipes, lab layout, etc.  The RCC would review and send to the RCC to approve the work in a new lab. The old lab would need decontamination and verification by the RSO.

  • 31. How do I ship radioactive materials to someone outside FIU?

    Call the RSO and provide details of radionuclide(s) you wish to ship, the amount of radioactivity, the physical form and where it will be shipped. You must provide a copy of the recipient's radioactive materials license to ensure that the recipient is authorized by license to receive the radioactive material and the radioactivity in question.  Contact the RSO for the right type of package, markings, labels, and the shipping papers for the package. Provide a copy of the shipping papers to the RSO.  Everyone involved with the shipping paperwork must have current US Dept. of Transportation training on shipping radionuclides including secretarial and administrative support filling the forms.  The RSO has completed this training. Very small amounts of radionuclides are exempt from any special shipping requirements. See the RSO.

  • 32. Which survey meter should I buy for my lab surveys?

    The type of survey meter required depends on the type of radiation and its energy. For example:

    • For alpha radiation you may use a ZnS (Ag) detector or a Geiger Mueller (GM) detector
    • For low energy beta radiation (H-3, C-14, S-35), you will need a liquid scintillation analyzer/counter
    • For other high energy (> 0.5 MeV) beta radiation, you may use pancake GM or a solid scintillation detector
    • For gamma radiation, use a NaI(Tl)) or GM detector
    • For low energy gamma radiation, use a thin NaI(Tl)) or GM detector
  • 33. How often are radiation survey meters required to be calibrated?

    All survey meters are to be calibrated annually. The Radiation Safety Officer collects the survey meters from the labs and ships them to a certified calibration company. The calibration company performs the calibration and affixes a sticker on the survey meter showing date of calibration and the due date for calibration. Those working with weak beta emitters (e.g., tritium) will not use survey meters since these meters cannot detect the weak radiation. FIU Liquid Scintillation Analyzers are used for these weak beta emitters.  Labs with radioactive materials requiring survey meters, purchase 2 or more survey meters since the process of shipping survey meters for calibration and receiving them back at FIU typically takes over 1 month and all radioactive materials labs require at least weekly surveys of surfaces.

  • 34. What should I do to be authorized to administer radioactive materials to animals?

    Contact the RSO. You will need authorization from the RCC via an approved protocol for safe handling and storage of RM in the lab and authorization from FIU's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

  • 35. Where do I get radioactive material / waste tags / labels?

    You need to purchase these from vendors such as Fisher or RSO, Inc. Contact the RSO for help.

  • 36. How do I determine the amount of radioactivity in liquid waste or samples?

    The best method to determine the activity in your liquid wastes is to mix and count a sample of the liquid waste in a liquid scintillation counter (LSC) of known counting efficiency for the type of radiation in the sample. Convert the counts per minute (cpm) to disintegrations per minute (dpm) by dividing cpm with the fractional counting efficiency factor for the radionuclide.

    The fractional counting efficiency equals the detector efficiency for specific radionuclide multiplied by the solid angle fraction subtended by detector face.

    To convert the dpm to µCi divide the disintegrations per minute by 2.22 × 106 dpm/µCi.

    Another method is to assume all radioactive materials used in the experiment to be liquid waste. Remember this is the maximum activity in the liquid waste. As you add the liquid to the container, keep track of the amount and total the quantities before disposal.

    If you are able to determine the activity going to a waste stream other than liquid, then the activity in the liquid waste is difference between the activity used and the activity going to the stream.

  • 37. How do I determine the amount of radioactivity in dry waste?

    Unfortunately, there is no effective way to determine radioactivity in the dry waste. The best way is to keep track of the radioactivity in your experiments. If you used the best method to determine radioactivity in the liquid waste, the remainder of the RM used will be in the dry waste.

  • 38. What is ALARA?

    ALARA is an acronym for As Low As Reasonably Achievable! ALARA is a philosophy that should guide all work with radioactive materials and should be mentored by the RSO and the Authorized User. The RSO does an ALARA assessment with every lab audit. An example best demonstrates this principle: Handling a primary source of radioactive material led to exposures of the fingers for some FIU rad workers. While these exposures were more than 100 times less than allowable levels, ALARA asks if there is any simple, reasonable action that might reduce this measurable exposure.  By taking the primary source and pouring some small amount into a secondary container and then using the secondary container to pour contents into additional small containers, the exposure was reduced to below measurable levels.

  • 39. How do I secure my radioactive materials?

    Sources of radiation shall be secured against unauthorized removal from the place of storage by using two independent physical controls (locking mechanisms). Check integrity of physical barriers and security controls (e.g. locks, source safes, etc.).

    • Lock laboratory doors when the laboratory is unattended.
    • Keep stock materials in a designated, locked storage location.
    • Access control procedures must be implemented when using large quantities of radioactive materials.
    • Establish a checkout procedure whereby persons authorized to use them sign out stock materials, record the use on inventory forms or other written documents, and sign the remaining stock back in immediately at the conclusion of the experiment.
    • Implement "line-of-site" rules. If you are working where you can't see your stock material, put it away.
  • 40. For minor repair work in a radiological laboratory, is there any special form which I should complete?

    No, but hazards in your lab such as radioactive materials, laser devices, biohazardous materials, etc., and a primary and alternate contact for the Authorized User must be listed on FIU forms. If your labs will be renovated or remodeled you will be required to complete “Minor project Request Form.”


    For minor repairs, such as changing light bulbs, plumbing concerns, or other such issues, contact FIU Work Management at 7-4600, or visit their website for more information: FIU Facilities Management

  • 41. Is there an FIU policy for the security of labs with radioactive materials?

    Yes, “Security in laboratories with Special Hazards”- Policy.  Special Hazards Materials include, but are not limited to: radioactive materials, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substances, select agents, carcinogenic and explosive materials, infectious materials, and laser devices, and any other hazardous materials, the purchase, handling, storage or transfer and disposal of which is regulated by federal, state, or local laws. The policy has 3 important aspects namely responsibility, accountability, and physical safeguards regarding materials with special hazards.

  • 42. What should I do if radioactive materials under my control are lost or stolen?
    • As soon as you are aware or even suspect RM is missing, contact the AU and FIU Police/Public Safety (7-2626) to report possible theft.
    • Within 24 hours of becoming aware of missing RM, contact the RSO regarding any lost or stolen materials and provide a written statement regarding theft or loss.
    • The RSO will conduct an inquiry into the matter and will inform the regulator, Florida's Bureau of Radiation Control, as appropriate.
  • 43. What are key methods for controlling ionizing radiation exposure?
    • Radioactive material- work with the smallest radioactivity possible
    • Contamination- prevent contamination
    • Time- work with radioactive materials for least amount of time possible
    • Distance- stay as far as possible from sources of radiation
    • Shielding- shield the source of radiation
  • 44. What type of shielding is required for radioactive materials?
    • For high energy beta emitters such as P-32, use a material with a low atomic number such as Plexiglas, ~ 5 mm thick. High energy electrons striking a higher atomic number material such as lead produces Bremsstahlung radiation (X-rays), which may under some conditions, result in more radiation exposure to individuals than they would have received without any shielding.
    • For gamma rays or X-rays, a high atomic number material such as lead is preferred for shielding.
    • For alpha, and low energy beta emitters such as H-3, C-14, or S-35, no shielding is necessary, just personal protection gloves and a lab coat.
  • 45. What type of records should labs with RM maintain?

    Each RM laboratory or closely related group of laboratories must maintain an organized notebook (3-ring binder) containing the following:

    • Radioactive material use record (radioisotope inventory- radioisotope, date, activity, received, used, remaining, disposed)
    • Results of required radiation surveys for contamination and exposure rates (survey meter readings and wipe tests)
    • Radiation training documentation
    • Documentation of corrective actions taken for any incident/ accident that involves a spill or release of a gas, powder, or volatile material
    • Records of personnel dosimetry
    • Records of any bioassay performed
    • The FIU Radiation Safety Manual (most recent edition), either printed or on computer with exact location of website listed in the front of binder.
    • Data necessary to demonstrate compliance with any special requirements identified in the specific authorization.

    Failure to maintain and make these records available for inspection will require a Corrective Action Plan.

  • 46. What should I do in case of a spill of a radioactive solution?

    Immediately contact the Authorized User and RSO. Follow spill control procedures in FIU’s Radiation Safety Manual. Contain minor spills. Major spills must be cleaned by the Authorized User or the RSO.

  • 47. Can status of Authorized User for radioactive materials or for X-ray devices be suspended or revoked?

    Yes. FIU RCC has approved point system to support compliance efforts. Authorized users may accumulate points for various acts of non-compliances, in their labs. If authorized users accumulate certain number of points, their privileges to work with the radioactive materials may be withdrawn.  An Authorized User may also be granted temporary suspension of authorization when: (1) he/she submits a request for suspension to the RSO and (2) the RSO confirms that there are no radioactive materials/waste in the lab and that the lab can be released for unrestricted use.

  • 48. Can temporarily suspended Authorized User designation be reinstated?

    Yes, temporarily suspended Authorized User status can be reinstated. The reinstatement of authorization will require completion of all training requirements prior to approval.  Reinstatement of authorization subsequent to revocation for non-compliance will require additional steps including meeting with the RCC.

  • 49. Does lab equipment used with RM require decontamination prior to disposal, repair, or servicing?

    Yes, there are strict controls on the disposal of radioactive material. Equipment for disposal must be decontaminated, and surveyed by the RSO prior to release for disposal. Equipment, which contains radioactive material or which may be contaminated with radioactive material, that needs repair or service by FIU repair personnel or outside vendors must be released by the RSO before any such work is done. Equipment that is to be sent to FIU Surplus also requires a release from the RSO prior to pick up by property control personnel. Please check appropriate boxes in the form(s): 

    *Note - FIU Controller's Office recommends using FireFox or Chrome as your browser when accessing these forms.

    Equipment Surplus Form

    FIU Controller's Office Property Forms (All)

  • 50. What is the proper procedure for closing out a RM laboratory if it is being moved or vacated?
    • Transfer unused radioactive material to an Authorized User through the RSO or prepare materials for disposal as radioactive waste.
    • Complete radioactive material/waste pickup/asset transfer request form(s), if necessary.
    • Survey for radioactive contamination. Decontaminate, if necessary.
    • Remove or deface all radiation symbols inside the laboratory.
    • Remove postings from the lab door.
    • Contact the RSO to schedule a final survey and closeout.

    Contact RSO or for more information.

  • 51. I plan to buy a chemical analysis instrument that has an Electron Capture Detector (ECD) in it. The ECD is radioactive and so what do I need to know?

    The ECD has a machined component that contains a foil of Ni-63 isotope.  The purchase of the device requires RSO approval and the RSO must perform leak testing on this source every 6 months. All sources with radioactivity > 1 milliCurie must be leak tested semi-annually.

    Labs with sealed sources do not require special training or special signage.  Some Civil Engineering surveying instruments contain radioactive sources as well as instruments used by other Departments. Look for possible radioactive sources or lasers that might be embedded in instruments being purchased. These would require the approval and support of the RSO or Laser Safety Officer. Instruments with radioactive sources inside are labeled with a printed tag that states the following: “This instrument contains a radioactive source. Do not move it from this lab without notifying the RSO.”  The RSO communicates with the regulator, Florida BoRC, regarding the location and other info on all radioactive sources at FIU. For instruments requiring surplus or disposal, work with the RSO to remove the radioactive source first.

  • 52. I need to buy some small, radioactive, sealed, check sources to use in teaching lab and to calibrate my radiation detectors. What do I need to know?

    Radioactive check sources must be purchased with RSO approval. The RSO must know the storage location(s) of the sources in lab(s) where they will be used and stored. The RSO must do an annual inventory of all sources at FIU and shares this with the regulator Florida BoRC.  There aren’t any training or signage requirements. The sources should be kept in a locked cabinet inside a locked lab. When sources decay to below useful radioactivity levels or are no longer needed, they must be transferred to the RSO.  The RSO will discuss the use of the sources prior to purchase.

  • 53. Is there any radiation safety training for X-ray machines, analytical devices (e.g. bone densitometers, medical, x-ray diffraction, electron microscope)?

    Yes.  This is an online training that requires recertification every 3 years. Rad workers accessing x-ray devices and not radioactive material need only this one training and to apply online for a dosimeter. Please go to, log in using your FIU credentials, then search/find: "X-ray Devices".

  • 54. I am considering getting an X-ray device. What steps do I need to take before ordering it?

    You must contact FIU’s Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) for approval.  The RSO will discuss in detail the following requirements and steps:

    1. Principal Investigator (PI) or future owner of the X-ray device will send resume or CV, and a single page description of the location, research planned, and the device planned for purchase to RSO. The RSO will then send it to the Radiation Control Committee for approval as a new Authorized User for X-ray Devices
    2. PI and all those who will work with their x-ray device will take and pass the online X-ray Device Safety Training (needs renewal every 3 years)
    3. RSO will discuss possible need for lab door interlock with the x-ray device and lighted x-ray sign outside the lab
    4. Instrument is ordered and later delivered
    5. Upon arrival at FIU, the RSO will support the registration of the device with the State of Florida regulator within 14 days and insure proper signage and documentation is in place, before the system is operated
    6. The RSO will audit the device and the documents every 6 months with the PI (instrument owner) or a person the PI designates
  • 55. What are the ongoing considerations for having an X-ray device at FIU?

    Please talk to the RSO for details. Here are the primary considerations:

    1. System will be audited every 6 months by the RSO, with PI or PI designate present
    2. Online X-ray Safety Training must be passed and renewed every 3 years
    3. A qualified outside vendor should do maintenance or calibration of the device. Let the RSO know of any actions you plan in this area
    4. Any change of location of the device or modification to the system must be discussed with the RSO prior to its implementation
    5. X-ray devices require documentation such as current training for workers, dosimeters, annual radiation survey, testing of interlocks, and more. See the RSO for requirements
    6. Once each year, FIU must pay the State of Florida’s registration fees by their due date for the many x-ray devices on multiple JR licenses.  This is about $45 per x-ray tube (device). These annual fees are currently paid by Medical School, Athletic Dept. and EH&S. EH&S in turn will bill the PI for their specific device’s registration
  • 56. How does FIU's RSO and EH&S track the purchase, use, and proper disposal of commercial products used in new construction and maintenance and operations at FIU?

    FIU’s EHS Department works closely with the New Construction Division and the Maintenance Division in FIU Facilities Department.  EHS leadership will reach out to the Facilities Dept. regularly (at joint meetings and at least annually) to identify any sources of hazardous substances and devices they use. This would include: radioactive materials, biohazardous materials, controlled substances, lasers, hazardous chemicals, nanomaterials, etc.  Information collected is shared with relevant EHS officers. For example, any use of radioactive materials would be shared with the RSO.  At this time, the RSO is only aware of two radioactive commercial products used at FIU, tritium signs in remote locations without electricity and some smoke alarms. These materials must be stored and ultimately disposed of following legal requirements.