Radioisotope Fact Sheets

These fact sheets provide information about each radioisotope's physical characteristics (half-life, emissions and energies), dose rates and shielding needs,  detection requirements, special precautions, and waste disposal requirements.  If you need a fact sheet for a radioisotope not listed here, contact the Radiation Safety Officer.

Hydrogen -3 (Tritium)

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 12.3 years
  • Emissions: Beta particles with a maximum energy of 18.6 keV and an average energy of 5.7 keV.
  • Maximum Range: 4.7 mm in air; 0.006 mm in tissue
  • Fraction transmitted through the dead layer of the skin: none

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate to the skin at 10 cm: None
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 mCi/cm2: None
  • Shielding: None needed.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 80 millicuries via ingestion, assuming intake as tritiated water. The ingestion of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem.

Detection

Liquid scintillation counting is the preferred method for detecting H-3. Most G-M detectors will not detect the presence of H-3.

Precautions

H-3 contamination cannot be detected with a G-M meter, and special precautions are needed to keep the work environment clean. The regular use of wipe testing, using a liquid scintillation counter, is the only way to insure that your work space does not contain contamination.

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes/Liquid Scintillation Wastes: through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for H-3 is 3 mCi per month.

Carbon-14

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 5,730 years
  • Emissions: Beta particles with a maximum energy of 156 keV and an average energy of 49 keV.
  • Maximum Range: 22 cm in air; 0.027 cm in tissue
  • Fraction transmitted through the dead layer of the skin: 0.11

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate to the skin at 10 cm: 600 mrad/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 mCi/cm2: 1400 mrad/hour
  • Shielding: None needed, when used in millicurie quantities under normal laboratory conditions.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 2 millicuries via ingestion. The ingestion of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem.

Detection

Wipe surveys using liquid scintillation counting is the preferred method for detecting C-14. Most G-M detectors are not likely to detect the presence of C-14 in amounts less than about 100,000 dpm (0.05 µCi).

Precautions

Low-level C-14 contamination cannot be easily detected with a G-M meter, and special precautions are needed to keep the work environment clean. The regular use of wipe testing, using a liquid scintillation counter, is the only way to insure that your work space does not contain low-level removable contamination.

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes/Liquid Scintillation Wastes: through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for C-14 is 3 mCi per month.

Phosphorus-32

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 14.3 days
  • Emissions: Beta particles with a maximum energy of 1.71 MeV and an average energy of 0.7 MeV.
  • Maximum Range: 620 cm in air; 0.8 cm in tissue; 0.6 cm in plexiglas
  • Fraction transmitted through the dead layer of the skin: 0.95

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate to the skin at 10 cm: 4070 mrad/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 mCi/cm2: 9200 mrad/hour
  • Shielding: 3/8” plexiglas/lucite will shield all P-32 betas. For high activity sources exceeding a few millicuries, it may be desirable to add lead shielding outside the plexiglas shielding to shield against bremsstrahlung x-rays. Plexiglas should be placed closest to the P-32 source as primary shielding, and lead should be used outside the plexiglas as secondary shielding.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 600 microcuries via ingestion. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem.

Detection

A G-M detector will readily detect low-level P-32 contamination, although liquid scintillation counting is also an acceptable method for detecting removable P-32 contamination.

Precautions

High localized doses are possible while handling millicurie amounts of P-32 and as a result of skin contamination. Reduce doses by wearing safety glasses (for shielding the eyes), using remote handling tools such as tongs, using shielding extensively to shield storage and experimental containers and work areas, and performing thorough and frequent surveys of the work area, clothing and the body.

Radiation Monitoring Requirements: Radiation monitoring badges must be worn by any person who uses open sources of P-32 in amounts of 5 mCi or more for extended operations (applies to most operations other than simple aliquoting from a stock vial).

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes: through the Onsite Decay-in-Storage Program
  • Liquid Scintillation Wastes:  through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for P-32 is 0.3 mCi per month.

Silicon-32

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 104 years
  • Emissions: Beta particles with a maximum energy of 0.224 MeV and an average energy of 0.067 MeV. Since Si-32 decays to P-32, emissions from a Si-32 source also include the 1.71 MeV beta from P-32
  • Maximum Range: 37 cm in air; <.05 cm in tissue.
  • See the P-32 fact sheet for information about the properties of the beta from the P-32 progeny.

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate to the skin at 10 cm: See the P-32 fact sheet for information about the dose from the P-32 progeny.
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 µCi/cm2: See the P-32 fact sheet for information about the dose from the P-32 progeny.
  • Shielding: Depending on the age of the material, plexiglas shielding may be required for the P-32 progeny.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 2000 microcuries via ingestion and 200 microcuries via inhalation. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem.

Detection

A G-M detector will readily detect low-level P-32 contamination, although wipe surveys using liquid scintillation counting is also an acceptable method for detecting removable P-32 contamination.

Precautions

High localized doses are possible while handling millicurie amounts of P-32 and as a result of skin contamination. Reduce doses by wearing safety glasses (for shielding the eyes), using remote handling tools such as tongs, using shielding extensively to shield storage and experimental containers and work areas, and performing thorough and frequent surveys of the work area, clothing and the body.

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes: through the Onsite Decay-in-Storage Program
  • Liquid Scintillation Wastes:  through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for P-32 is 0.3 mCi per month.

Phosphorus-33

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 25.3 days
  • Emissions: Beta particles with a maximum energy of 249 keV and an average energy of 76 keV.
  • Maximum Range: 45 cm in air; 0.06 cm in tissue
  • Fraction transmitted through the dead layer of the skin: 0.35

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate to the skin at 10 cm: 2000 mrad/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 mCi/cm2: 4500 mrad/hour
  • Shielding: None needed, when used in millicurie quantities or less, under normal laboratory conditions
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 6 millicuries via ingestion. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem.

Detection

Wipe surveys using liquid scintillation counting is the preferred method for detecting P-33. Most G-M detectors are not likely to detect the presence of P-33 in amounts less than about 100,000 dpm (0.05 µCi).

Precautions

Low-level P-33 contamination cannot be easily detected with a G-M meter, and special precautions are needed to keep the work environment clean. The regular use of wipe testing, using a liquid scintillation counter, is the only way to insure that the work space does not contain low-level removable contamination.

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes: through the Onsite Decay-in-Storage Program
  • Liquid Scintillation Wastes:  through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for P-33 is 3 mCi per month.

Sulfur-35

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 87.6 days
  • Emissions: Beta particles with a maximum energy of 167 keV and an average energy of 49 keV.
  • Maximum Range: 24 cm in air; 0.030 cm in tissue.
  • Fraction transmitted through the dead layer of the skin: 0.12

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate to the skin at 10 cm: 625 mrad/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Dose rate to basal cells from skin contamination of 1 mCi/cm2: 1460 mrad/hr
  • Shielding: None needed, when used in millicurie quantities under normal laboratory conditions
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 10 millicuries via ingestion for most compounds of sulfur. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem.

Detection

Wipe surveys using liquid scintillation counting is the preferred method for detecting S-35. Most G-M detectors are not likely to detect the presence of S-35 in amounts less than about 100,000 dpm (0.05 µCi).

Precautions

  • 35S-labeled methionine/cysteine compounds can volatilize. Stock solutions and thawed materials should be opened within a fume hood. Activated charcoal can be used to trap contamination within equipment such as incubators. Contact EHS for further information.
  • Low-level S-35 contamination cannot be easily detected with a G-M meter, and special precautions are needed to keep the work environment clean. The regular use of wipe testing, using a liquid scintillation counter, is the only way to insure that the work space does not contain low-level removable contamination.

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes: through the Onsite Decay-in-Storage Program
  • Liquid Scintillation Wastes:  through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for S-35 is 3 mCi per month.

Iron-55

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 2.70 years
  • Emissions: Principal emissions are a 6 keV x-ray and 5.2 keV [average] Auger electrons.
  • Electron Maximum Range: 0.15 cm in air; 0.0 cm in tissue

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate at 10 cm: negligible
  • Dose rate to basal cells from skin contamination of 1 µCi/cm2: 59 mrem/hr
  • Shielding: None needed, when used in millicurie quantities, under normal laboratory operations.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 2,000 microcuries via inhalation, and 9,000 microcuries via ingestion. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem.

Detection

Liquid scintillation counting is the preferred method for detecting Fe-55 contamination, although a low energy sodium iodide crystal scintillation detector will also detect Fe-55 with a lower efficiency. The regular use of wipe testing, using a liquid scintillation counter, is the only way to insure that the work space does not contain low-level removable contamination.

Precautions

External radiation from Fe-55 is low energy and does not normally present an external exposure hazard. Low-level Fe-55 contamination is not readily detected with a survey meter, and special precautions are needed to keep the work environment clean. The regular use of wipe testing, using a liquid scintillation counter, is the only way to insure that your work space does not contain low-level removable contamination.

Radiation Monitoring Requirements: Radiation monitoring badges are not required for Fe-55 users.

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes/Liquid Scintillation Wastes:  through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for Fe-55 is 3 mCi per month.

Iron-59

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 44.6 days
  • Emissions:
    • Beta particles: 0.273 MeV (46%) and 0.466 MeV (53%) maximum energies with average energies of 0.081 MeV and 0.149 MeV respectively.
    • Gamma rays: 1.099 MeV (56%) and 1.292 MeV (44%).
  • Beta Maximum Range: ~ 100 cm in air; 0.14 cm in tissue; 0.12 cm in plexiglas
  • Fraction transmitted through the dead layer of the skin: 0.95
  • Half-Value Layer: 15 mm lead. The half-value layer is the amount of material required to reduce the radiation intensity by 50%.

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Gamma dose rate (deep tissue dose) at 30 cm: 7.0 mrem/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Beta dose rate to the skin at 30 cm: 130 mrem/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 µCi/cm2: 3593 mrem/hour
  • Shielding: Generally, lead is the preferred shielding material for Fe-59 for lower activity operations. However, it may be desirable to use a combination of plexiglas and lead/steel as shielding when working with multi-millicurie amounts to minimize the amount of bremsstrahlung produced by the betas. In such a case, plexiglas should be placed closest to the source as primary shielding, and lead should be used outside the plexiglas as secondary shielding.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 800 microcuries via ingestion and 300 microcuries via inhalation. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem.

Detection

A sodium iodide crystal scintillation detector is the preferred method for detecting Fe-59. Additionally a G-M detector will readily detect Fe-59 contamination, although liquid scintillation counting is also an acceptable method for detecting removable contamination.

Precautions

High localized doses are possible while handling Fe-59 and as a result of skin contamination. Reduce doses by wearing safety glasses (for shielding the eyes), using remote handling tools such as tongs, using shielding extensively to shield storage and experimental containers and work areas, and performing thorough and frequent surveys of the work area, clothing and the body.

Radiation Monitoring Requirements: Radiation monitoring badges must be worn by any person who uses open sources of Fe-59 in amounts of 0.5 mCi or more for extended operations (applies to most operations other than simple aliquoting from a stock vial).

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes: through the Onsite Decay-in-Storage Program
  • Liquid Scintillation Wastes:  through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for Fe-59 is 0.3 mCi per month.

Nickel-63

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 100.1 years
  • Emissions: Beta particles with a maximum energy of 66 keV and an average energy of 17 keV
  • Maximum Range: 5 cm in air; < 0.01 cm in tissue

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate to the skin at 10 cm: negligible (for an unshielded point source)
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 µCi/cm2: negligible
  • Shielding: None needed.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 9000 microcuries via ingestion and 2000 microcuries via inhalation. The ingestion of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem. 

Detection

A wipe survey using liquid scintillation counting is the preferred method for detecting Ni-63. G-M detectors will not detect Ni-63 contamination

Precautions

Ni-63 contamination cannot be detected with a G-M meter, and special precautions are needed to keep the work environment clean. The regular use of wipe testing, using a liquid scintillation counter, is the only way to insure that your work space does not contain low-level removable contamination.

Radiation Monitoring Requirements: Radiation monitoring badges are not required for Ni-63 users, since the monitoring badges will not detect Ni-63.

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes/Liquid Scintillation Wastes: through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for Ni-63 is 3 mCi per month.

Zinc-65

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 243.9 days
  • Emissions: Beta (positron) particles with a maximum energy of 0.33 MeV (2%) and an average energy of 0.099 MeV. Gamma rays: 1.116 MeV (51%) and 0.511 MeV (2%).
  • Beta Maximum Range: 76.2 cm in air; 0.10 cm in tissue; 0.08 cm in plexiglas
  • Fraction transmitted through the dead layer of the skin: 0.95
  • Half-Value Layer: 14 mm lead; 2 cm in tissue.  The half-value layer is the amount of material required to reduce the radiation intensity by 50%.

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Beta Dose rate to the skin at 30 cm: 1.93 mrem/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Gamma Dose rate (deep tissue dose) at 30 cm: 3.44 mrem/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 µCi/cm2: 281 mrem/hour
  • Shielding: Shield stock vials with lead. Generally, lead is the preferred shielding material for Zn-65 for lower activity operations. However, since significant bremsstrahlung may be produced with higher activities, it may be desirable to use a combination of plexiglas and lead/steel as shielding when working with multi-millicurie amounts. In such a case, plexiglas should be placed closest to the source as primary shielding, and lead should be used outside the plexiglas as secondary shielding.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 400 microcuries via ingestion and 300 microcuries via inhalation. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem.

Detection

A G-M detector will readily detect low-level Zn-65 contamination, although liquid scintillation counting is also an acceptable method for detecting removable contamination.

Precautions

High localized doses are possible while handling millicurie amounts of Zn-65 and as a result of skin contamination. Reduce doses by wearing safety glasses (for shielding the eyes), using remote handling tools such as tongs, using shielding extensively to shield storage and experimental containers and work areas, and performing thorough and frequent surveys of the work area, clothing and the body.

Radiation Monitoring Requirements: Radiation monitoring badges must be worn by any person who uses open sources of Zn-65 in amounts of 0.5 mCi or more for extended operations (applies to most operations other than simple aliquoting from a stock vial).

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes & Liquid Scintillation Wastes: through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for Zn-65 is 0.3 mCi per month.

Selenium-75

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 119.8 days
  • Emissions: Principal emissions are 136 keV and 265 keV x-rays.
  • Half-Value Layer: 0.02 mm lead; 2 cm in tissue (The half-value layer is the amount of material required to reduce the radiation intensity by 50%.)

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Gamma Dose rate (deep tissue dose) at 30 cm: 2.74 mrem/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 µCi/cm2: 519 mrem/hour
  • Shielding: Lead foil or sheets, when used in hundreds of microcuries or in millicurie quantities. None needed when used in low microcurie amounts.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 700 microcuries via inhalation, and 500 microcuries via ingestion. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem.

Detection

A sodium iodide crystal scintillation detector is the preferred method for detecting Se-75. Additionally a G-M detector will readily detect Se-75 contamination, although liquid scintillation counting is also an acceptable method for detecting removable contamination.

Precautions

High localized doses are possible while handling millicurie amounts of Se-75 and as a result of skin contamination. Reduce doses by using remote handling tools such as tongs, using shielding extensively to shield storage and experimental containers and work areas, and performing thorough and frequent surveys of the work area, clothing and the body.

Radiation Monitoring Requirements: Radiation monitoring badges must be worn by any person who uses open sources of Se-75 in amounts of 0.5 mCi or more for extended operations (applies to most operations other than simple aliquoting from a stock vial).

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes: through the Onsite Decay-in-Storage Program
  • Liquid Scintillation Wastes:  through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for Se-75 is 3 mCi per month.

Cadmium-109

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 462.6 days
  • Emissions: Principal emissions are 22.1 keV x-rays (83%), accompanied by electrons with energies ranging up to 87 keV.
  • Half-Value Layer: 0.01 mm lead; 2 cm in tissue (The half-value layer is the amount of material required to reduce the radiation intensity by 50%.)

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate to the skin at 10 cm: 0 mrem/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Gamma Dose rate (deep tissue dose) at 30 cm: 0.778 mrem/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 µCi/cm2: 2000 mrem/hour
  • Shielding: Lead foil or sheets are used to shield the x-rays (the electrons are too low in energy to require shielding) when Cd-109 is used in hundreds of microcuries or in millicurie quantities. Shielding is not needed when Cd-109 is used in low microcurie amounts.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 40 microcuries via inhalation, and 300 microcuries via ingestion. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem. The critical organ for protection are the kidneys.

Detection

A sodium iodide crystal scintillation detector is the preferred method for detecting Cd-109. G-M detectors are not likely to detect the presence of Cd-109 in amounts less than about 100,000 dpm (0.05 µCi).

Precautions

Skin contamination and ingestion are the chief concerns when working with Cd-109, and appropriate precautions must be taken to limit contamination. Contamination of work areas and individuals is a more significant hazard than the external dose, unless working with millicurie quantities.

Radiation Monitoring Requirements: Radiation monitoring badges must be worn by any person who uses open sources of Cd-109 in amounts of 1 mCi or more for extended operations (applies to most operations other than simple aliquoting from a stock vial).

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes/ Liquid Scintillation Wastes:  through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for Cd-109 is 0.3 mCi per month.

Iodine-125

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 60.1 days
  • Emissions: Principal emissions are a 35 keV gamma ray and 27 - 32 keV x-rays.
  • Half-Value Layer: 0.02 mm lead; 2 cm in tissue. (The half-value layer is the amount of material required to reduce the radiation intensity by 50%.)

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate at 10 cm: 15 mrem/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Shielding: Lead foil or sheets, when used in hundreds of microcuries or in millicurie quantities. None needed when used in low microcurie amounts such as for RIA kits.
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 60 microcuries via inhalation, and 40 microcuries via ingestion. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem. The critical organ for protection is the thyroid gland.

Detection

A sodium iodide crystal scintillation detector is the preferred method for detecting I-125. G-M detectors are not likely to detect the presence of I-125 in amounts less than about 100,000 dpm (0.05 µCi).

Precautions

Volatile iodine can be released from Na125I or from iodinated compounds containing hundreds of microcuries or more of I-125. Containers of I-125, including sample vials of iodinated compounds, should always be opened in a fume hood. Personnel using I-125 in hundreds of microcuries or more must wear double gloves and should change gloves as soon as the gloves become contaminated. Iodinations must be performed under EHS surveillance and thyroid count bioassays must be performed following an iodination.

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes: through the Onsite Decay-in-Storage Program
  • Liquid Scintillation Wastes:  through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for I-125 is 0.03 mCi per month.

Mercury-203

Physical Characteristics

  • Half-life: 47 days
  • Emissions:
    • Beta particles: 0.210 MeV maximum energy (100 %) and 0.070 MeV average energy.  Beta Maximum Range: 34 cm in air; 0.04 cm in tissue; 0.04 cm in plexiglas
    • Gamma rays: 0.279 MeV (100%).

Dose Rate and Shielding

  • Dose rate to the skin at 30 cm: 15.2 mrem/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Gamma Dose rate (deep tissue dose) at 30 cm: 1.63 mrem/hour/mCi (for an unshielded point source)
  • Dose rate to epidermal basal cells from skin contamination of 1 µCi/cm2: 3296 mrem/hour
  • Shielding: Shield stock vials with lead.
  • Half-Value Layer: 0.2 cm lead (The half-value layer is the amount of material required to reduce the radiation intensity by 50%.)
  • Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): 500 microcuries via ingestion and 800 microcuries via inhalation. The intake of one ALI will produce a dose of 5 rem. 

Detection

A G-M detector will readily detect low-level Hg-203 contamination, although a wipe survey using liquid scintillation counting is also an acceptable method for detecting removable contamination.

Precautions

High localized doses are possible while handling millicurie amounts of Hg-203 and as a result of skin contamination. Reduce doses by wearing safety glasses (for shielding the eyes), using remote handling tools such as tongs, using shielding extensively to shield storage and experimental containers and work areas, and performing thorough and frequent surveys of the work area, clothing and the body.

Radiation Monitoring Requirements: Radiation monitoring badges must be worn by any person who uses open sources of Hg-203 in amounts of 0.5 mCi or more for extended operations (applies to most operations other than simple aliquoting from a stock vial).

Waste Disposal

  • Solid Wastes: through the Onsite Decay-in-Storage Program
  • Liquid Scintillation Wastes:  through the Off-Site Radioactive Waste Disposal Program
  • Liquid Wastes: through the Sewer Disposal Program. The laboratory disposal limit for Hg-203 is 3 mCi per month.