The University of Iowa

Guidelines for Generally Licensed Radioactive Materials

Not all radioactive materials (RAM) are created equal – some have long half-lives and some have short, some have very energetic radiation and some have less energetic radiation.  There are also differences in how different radioactive materials are regulated.  For most of the RAM in use at UI, the UI's RAM license and regulations specify the conditions for possession, shipment, receipt, storage, usage, and disposal.  However, Generally Licensed Materials don't have as many regulatory requirements. 

Generally Licensed Material is radioactive material contained in certain devices that are distributed by licensed facilities to individuals or institutions which do not require a license in order to possess the material. Examples are Ni-63 detectors found in gas chromatographs with electron capture detectors, static eliminators containing a Po-210 source, and liquid scintillation counters (LSC) with internal sources such as Cs-137, Ba-133, or Eu152.  ln general, these are very small activities of sealed material which pose very little health risk as long as the source integrity remains intact. 

While receipt of these materials does not occur through EHS, radiation safety staff needs to be informed upon their arrival on campus.  Please contact Joe Hawk (384-4541) or Jeff Olson (335-9372) to register new Generally Licensed Materials that you receive.  Information needed at the time of registration includes: type of device, manufacturer, model number, serial number, type and amount of radioactive material, location of the device and primary contact for the device.  The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) requires EHS staff to submit a physical inventory once a year for Generally Licensed Material.  Registering your device with EHS at the time of its arrival, and updating us if there is a change in status, enhances our ability to complete this inventory.  Please note that EHS will, at times, visit the source locations to conduct physical inventories of the devices.

Once the device has reached the end of its usefulness and is ready to be returned to its manufacturer or disposed of as waste, please contact EHS.  Although electron capture detector and static eliminator sources are often received with return packaging and shipping instructions, the fine line on the instructions typically states that the shipper is required to have all applicable DOT radioactive materials shipping training.  EHS staff has qualified RAM shipping personnel who will pick up, prepare and ship your device through our office to ensure all shipping and radiation regulations are followed.  Liquid scintillation counters that contain a generally licensed internal standard RAM source must have the RAM source removed by a qualified LSC service representative prior to consigning the LSC to surplus, selling it, or disposing of it. Contact EHS if you have questions regarding your LSC