University Police
Holloway Hall

Hazardous Materials

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INCIDENTS
If you witness a hazardous materials spill, evacuate the spill site and warn others to stay away. Call 911 from a campus or public telephone if you believe the spill may be life-threatening. If you can determine that the spill is not life threatening, follow the procedures outlined below. If you are a hazardous material user, you should be trained by your supervisor on proper use and storage of hazardous materials. This training should include hazard information, proper procedures for preventing spills, and emergency procedures when a spill happens.

If, as a user, you spill a hazardous material or materials:

  • Leave the area of the spill first and proceed to a safe location nearby. Then assess if you have the proper training and protective gear to clean up the spill

  • If you are able to clean up the spill, follow proper cleanup procedures and use proper personal protection. Manage the generated waste as appropriate. Consult your supervisor if necessary

  • Isolate the spill area to keep everyone away, and post signs as necessary

If you require assistance to clean up the spill:

  • During normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F), you can call Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) directly at Ext. 66485 or 410-546-6485.

  • During off-hours, call University Police at Ext. 36222 or 410-543-6222. University Police will call EHS.

If you suspect or witness a release of a hazardous material to the environment (air, water, ground) call University Police at Ext. 36222 or 410-543-6222.


RADIOACTIVITY RELEASES

What Is Radiation?
Radiation is any form of energy propagated as rays, waves or energetic particles that travel through the air or a material medium.

Radioactive materials are composed of atoms that are unstable. An unstable atom gives off its excess energy until it becomes stable. The energy emitted is radiation. The process by which an atom changes from an unstable state to a more stable state by emitting radiation is called radioactive decay or radioactivity.

People receive some natural or background radiation exposure each day from the sun, radioactive elements in the soil and rocks, household appliances (like television sets and microwave ovens), and medical and dental x-rays. Even the human body itself emits radiation. These levels of natural and background radiation is normal. The average American receives 360 millirems of radiation each year, 300 from natural sources and 60 from man-made activities. (A rem is a unit of radiation exposure; a millirem is one thousandth of a rem.) It is important to note that the quantity of a release or spill can only be determined by individuals that are trained and knowledgeable regarding the nature of the material spilled.

Radioactive materials--if handled improperly--or radiation accidentally released into the environment, can be dangerous because of the harmful effects of certain types of radiation on the body. The longer a person is exposed to radiation and the closer the person is to the radiation, the greater the risk.

Although radiation cannot be detected by the senses (sight, smell, etc.), it is easily detected by scientists with sophisticated instruments that can detect even the smallest levels of radiation. Detection equipment is maintained on the second floor of the Henson Building.

Currently, radioactive materials are maintained within the Henson Building on the second floor and in the radioactive materials storage near the receiving area of Henson Building (HS 162).

The Following Procedures Are From The Radioactive Site License:

Minor Spills
Release or spillage of <100 microcuries of a radionuclide in a nonvolatile from can generally be regarded as minor. In such cases:

  1. Notify all other persons in the room at once.

  2. Clear the room of all persons except those needed to deal with the spill.

  3. Confine the spill immediately.

    1. Liquids: Drop absorbent paper or chemical (calcium bentonite) on the spill.

    2. Solids: Dampen thoroughly, taking care not to spread contamination. Use water, unless a chemical reaction would release air contaminants; otherwise use oil.

  4. Notify the laboratory supervisor, if applicable.

  5. Notify the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO), Dr. Elichia Venso at Ext. 36499 or 410-543-6499. In the event of her absence, notify the Environmental Safety Officer, Wayne Shelton at Ext. 36485 or 410-543-6485.

Major spills
A spill of >100 microcuries of a radionuclide outside a fume hood or the release of any amount of a radionuclide in a volatile form, should be considered a major spill. In such cases:

  1. Evacuate the room immediately, shutting doors and windows on the way out.

  2. Notify the laboratory supervisor, if applicable.

  3. Notify the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO), Dr. Elishia Venso at Ext. 36499 or 410-543-6499. In the event of her absence, notify the Environmental Safety Officer, Wayne Shelton at Ext. 36485 or 410-543-6485.

  4. Post a “Keep Out” sign on the laboratory door.

  5. Assemble those persons who were present in the laboratory when the spill occurred, but remain far enough away to assure everyone’s safety.

  6. Wait for assistance.

Personal Injury Accidents Involving Radioactive Materials
Medical assistance is of first priority when an accident involving personal injury occurs. Administer first aid and/or call 911 for emergency assistance. Do not delay or impede medical assistance, but notify emergency personnel that radioactive materials are involved on order to prevent spread of contamination and to prevent risk of exposure to medical personnel. Notify the RSO and Environmental Safety Manager as soon as possible. When the injured person is removed from the scene of the accident, follow the procedure for “Minor Spills” or “Major Spills,” as appropriate.

Personal Contamination

  1. Notify the RSO and Environmental Safety Manager immediately.

  2. Remove all contaminated laboratory personal protective clothing (lab coat, gloves, etc.)

  3. Wash contaminated area with mild soap and water.

  4. Monitor the contaminated area.

  5. Repeat washing as necessary.

Decontamination Procedures
In the event that surfaces or equipment within the laboratory are suspected or determined to be contaminated with radioactive material, the radionuclide user must initiate and complete appropriate decontamination procedure. For most relatively minor contamination incidents, the following general steps should be taken upon discovery of the contamination:

  1. Mark the perimeter of the contaminated area.

  2. Notify the RSO, or in the event of her absence, the Environmental Safety Manager, of the contamination so that she/he can more accurately assess the extent of the contamination and advise and assist in the decontamination effort.

  3. Assemble cleaning supplies such as paper towels, detergent in water, plastic bags, and plastic gloves.

  4. Proceed with scrubbing the area from the borders to the center, cleaning small areas at a time.

  5. Periodically monitor the effectiveness of the decontamination effort with surface wipes and portable instrument surveys.

  6. Place all contaminated cleaning materials such as paper towels, rags, and gloves in a plastic bag and label as radioactive waste.

  7. Notify the RSO upon completion of the decontamination effort so that a follow-up contamination survey can be made.

Questions regarding these procedures should be directed to the RSO, Dr. Elishia Venso at Ext. 36499 or 410-543-6499.


SPILL KIT LOCATIONS

As of 9/3/2004

SPILL KIT LOCATIONS

LOOSE
ABSORBENT

TOWELS / PIGS

GLYCOL DRUM

BULK DRUM

Blackwell Library

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

Chesapeake Hall

Yes

Yes

N/A

Yes

Chester Hall

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

Choptank Hall

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

Commons

Yes

Yes

Yes =2

Yes

Community Outreach

Yes

N/A

N/A

 

Devilbiss Science Hall

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

Faculty Development

Yes

N/A

N/A

 

Foundation House

Yes

N/A

N/A

 

Fulton Hall

Yes

Yes

Yes =2

 

Guerrieri University Center

Yes

Yes

Yes =4

 

Henson Science Hall

Yes

Yes

Yes =1

Yes 

Holloway Hall

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

Maggs Gymnasium

Yes

Yes

N/A

Yes

Maintenance

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

Manokin Hall

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

Nanticoke Hall

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

Photography Lab - Fulton

N/A

N/A

N/A

Yes 

Pocomoke Hall

Yes

N/A

N/A

 

Safety Trailer

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

Severn Hall (gas heat)

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

Theatre/Web

Yes

Yes

N/A

 

University Police

Yes

Yes

N/A

Yes

Vehicles (2) Maint. Mechanics

Yes

N/A

N/A

 

Wicomico Hall

Yes

N/A

N/A