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14. Laboratory work area and personal protective equipment

14.1 Laboratory work area

For laboratory work using radioactive material, radiation safety training and or certification from McGill is required prior to the start of the work.

A specific area in the lab must be designated for radioactive work, this can include a bench, a table, or a small room. This area must be identified with a radiation warning sign.

To avoid cross contamination, these areas must be kept away from locations where non radioactive work is performed. The radiation work area must be covered with absorbant paper, the equipment must be identified with a radiation warning label and if there is a risk of spills, the experimental apparatus should be placed in a spill tray.


14.2 Personal protective equipment

Eye and Face Protection:

All students, staff, faculty and visitors must wear appropriate eye and/or facial protection in the following:

  • All areas where hazardous materials, or substances of an unknown area, are stored, used or handled
  • All areas where the possibility of splash, flying objects, moving particles and/or rupture exist
  • All areas where there are other eye hazards, e.g. UV or laser light

Lab coats:

Appropriate protective clothing (e.g., lab coats, aprons, coveralls) is required in all experimental areas where hazardous materials are handled.

Specialized protective clothing:

For additional protection, staff or students should wear over the lab coat a lead apron if gamma and X-ray emitters are being used or a rubber apron if high energy beta emitters are being manipulated. Note, that the whole body personal dosimeter must be placed behind the lead or rubber apron.

NB. Hazardous materials are defined as:

  • controlled products, as defined by WHMIS legislation and;
  • open radioactive sources, as defined by the Canadian Nuclear Safety and Control act.