Radioactive Waste Labeling Procedure

It is EHS’s goal to pick up radioactive waste submitted by research personnel in a quick, efficient and hassle-free manner. Following are a few things you should do before submitting your request for pickup to ensure that your waste is removed in a timely fashion. By following these instructions, EHS staff can pick up your waste on the Tuesday after your request is submitted, without interrupting you and your research.

1. Fill the waste tag out completely using pencil. Correctly completing the tag will guarantee that your waste will be removed and that waste staff will not have to find lab personnel to inquire about something that is not filled out. Things the waste staff looks for on the tag:

  • Is the external contamination box checked?
  • Is the activity listed?
  • Are all liquid chemicals, buffers, media, acid, bases, solvents listed on the back of the tag and equal to 100%, and the pH listed?
  • Is the liquid scintillation cocktail that is used listed for LSC vials?
  • Waste with incomplete tags cannot be removed.

Radiation Tag

It is usually only necessary to complete the back of the radioactive waste tag if the waste is a liquid. It may also be necessary to provide information on the tag back for items such as source vials, sealed sources and chemical solids.

  • Identify each chemical component and its percentage – this must equal 100%.
  • Do not abbreviate chemical names.
  • Indicate pH if waste is aqueous.
  • If waste is a liquid scintillation cocktail – identify the brand name.

2. Read the tag carefully. A common error is to mark the “External Removable Radioactive Contamination <22 dpm/cm2” box incorrectly. If you performed a wipe of the container and it was less than 22 dpm/cm2, then check the box “Yes”.

3. Ensure that the bag inside the dry waste container is sealed with a zip tie, or tape, or knotted.
4. Do not overfill the container, so the lid can be closed.
5. If lead shields are being disposed of ensure that:

  • A radioactive waste tag is provided with the lead.
  • Contamination wipes have been performed
  • The “external removable radioactive contamination” box on the tag is checked “Yes.”