X-Ray Machines & Other Radiation-Producing Equipment

Bruker X-Ray Diffractometer

A wide variety of radiation-producing sources are used on campus.  These include:

  • Electron microscopes and similar equipment used for materials research, for example, e-beam writers and lithography systems
  • X-ray diffraction equipment
  • A high-voltage x-ray irradiator
  • Cabinet x-ray systems
  • Radiography equipment used for x-raying artwork
  • Medical x-ray systems
  • X-ray fluorescence analyzers (portable and bench-top)
  • X-ray photoelectron spectrometers
  • Electron beam evaporators
  • Neutron generators

Generally, all radiation-producing equipment capable of operating at voltages greater than 5 kV must be registered with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.    Consult with the Radiation Safety Officer before you acquire such equipment. 

EHS will provide the following services for users of radiation-producing equipment:

  • Registration (EHS will handle all the paperwork to register radiation-producing equipment or to cancel registrations)
  • Training
  • Radiation Surveys
  • Radiation Monitoring Badges

Pregnancy & X-ray Use

Nearly all the radiation-producing equipment in use on campus produce x-rays so low in energy that it is not possible for a fetus to receive any radiation exposure during use of the equipment.   If you are pregnant and work with x-ray diffraction or x-ray fluorescence equipment, with electron microscopes or electron-beam equipment, or with x-ray photelectron spectrometers, you do not need to adjust research or job responsibilities to limit radiation exposure.

If you work with equipment that produce higher energy x-rays (x-ray irradiators and medical x-ray equipment), see information about the University's Declared Pregnant Worker Program.

Radiation Monitoring Badges

Body and ring badges supplied by Mirion

If you are required to complete radiation safety training for the type of equipment you will use, you are also required to wear radiation monitoring badges. Badges will be provided after you have completed training. For detailed information about the radiation monitoring badge program, see the Radiation Monitoring Badges Page.

X-Ray Exposure & Incidents

Reporting Possible Exposures

žYou MUST immediately report any definite or potential exposure to any portion of an x-ray beam to EHS and to your PI or Facility Manager.  You must also immediately report any ‘close calls’ to EHS and to your Facility Manager. žFor example, if you discover that the shutter was open while you were working within the XRD enclosure, you must call EHS, even if you think that no part of your body entered the primary beam.

How to Report a Possible Exposure

  • Call EHS at 8-5294 during normal business hours.
  • Call Public Safety at 8-1000 after normal business hours (Public Safety has EHS home and cellphone numbers).
  • Do not hesitate to call no matter what time of day the incident has occurred.

What Happens After You Report A Possible Exposure

  • žYour radiation monitoring badges will be sent to the vendor for rush processing.
  • žYou will be asked to visit McCosh Health Center once a day for several weeks to see whether the condition of your hands (or any other affected part) changes over the course of time.
  • The Radiation Safety Ožfficer will ask you to reenact the event so that your radiation dose can be estimated.
  • žThe Radiation Safety Ožfficer may need to make a report to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, depending on the outcome of the dose investigation.  

X-Ray Safety Training

Anyone using x-ray producing equipment must complete x-ray safety training, before being allowed to receive operator training in how to operate a specific x-ray unit. Users of electron microscope type equipment and users of radiation-producing equipment that does not operate at voltages greater than 16 kV are excepted from the x-ray safety training requirements.

Generally x-ray safety training is specific to the type of x-ray equipment being used.  The following listing describes the process for completing x-ray safety training for each type of equipment: 

X-ray Diffraction Equipment:
The training is online. Go to the Employee Learning Center and log in.  Click on Training by Department  > Environmental Health & Safety. On the Environmental Health & Safety tab, click on Radiation Safety and find the listing for X-Ray Safety Training for X-Ray Diffraction Users.
Note:  If you do not have a Princeton University NetID, you will need to contact the Radiation Safety Officer to arrange for training.

X-Ray Fluorescence Equipment (bench-top units):
The training is online. Go to the Employee Learning Center and log in.  Click on Training by Department  > Environmental Health & Safety. On the Environmental Health & Safety tab, click on Radiation Safety and find the listing for X-Ray Safety Training for the Rigaku Supermini 200 XRF Unit.   This training program is also generally applicable to other bench-top XRF equipment.
Note:  If you do not have a Princeton University NetID, you will need to contact the Radiation Safety Officer to arrange for training.

Bruker Tracer-III SD X-Ray Fluorescence Analyzer (hand-held unit):
Contact the Radiation Safety Officer to schedule training.

The X-Rad 320 X-Ray Irradiator:
Contact the Radiation Safety Officer to schedule training.

Faxitron Cabinet X-Ray Systems (MX20 and RX650 Units):
Contact the Radiation Safety Officer to schedule training.

Other X-Ray Equipment
Contact the Radiation Safety Officer to discuss training for any equipment that is not listed here.