Research Policy Handbook


Radiological Hazards

Policy Contact

Now in Policy Details

Summarizes policies related to radiological hazards.

1. Authorization and Registration

Possession and use of radioisotopes must be authorized under a broad scope radioactive materials license issued to Stanford University by the State of California or the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All machines which produce ionizing radiations for which State registration is required must be registered centrally in the name of the Board of Trustees. All projects must comply with pertinent regulations and relevant terms of licenses.

The authority to review and approve uses of radioactive materials and radiation-producing machines is delegated to the Administrative Panel on Radiological Safety (APRS), which also recommends radiation policies to the President through the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research. The APRS monitors compliance with regulations, license conditions and policies utilizing the Health Physics staff of the Environmental Health and Safety Department. All regulated radiation activities are open to inspection by the Health Physics staff. Detailed policies and procedures governing the acquisition, use, and disposal of radiation sources are found in the Radiation Safety Manual, available from Health Physics. The Manager of Health Physics, i.e., the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO), is designated in all licenses. The RSO may deny or withdraw approval to use a radiation source where an imminent threat to health and safety, non-compliance, or unsafe practice is found, pending review by the APRS.

2. Responsibilities

Some of the responsibilities of Health Physics are to:

  • Serve as consultants to the faculty and staff in radiation safety matters
  • Provide general surveillance of radiation and contamination levels
  • Inspect projects to determine compliance with regulations and standards
  • Distribute personnel dose measurement devices and maintain records of radiation exposures to users
  • Maintain centralized accountability of machines and materials
  • Provide for the inspection of new shipments of radiation sources and safe disposal of materials and devices
  • Provide for the calibration of radiation measurement instruments used in the personnel protection program
  • Provide radiation safety training to personnel

Health Physics also provides advice and safety support to faculty utilizing lasers, ultra-violet light, radiowave, EMF, MRI, and microwave sources to assist them in maintaining compliance with regulations and published standards.