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14.3 Control of Ionizing Radiation

All use of material or equipment that produces ionizing radiation requires prior approval by the Cornell University Radiation Safety Committee. This group of faculty members set policies and personally reviews each operation to ensure safety and compliance with state and federal regulations. The University Radiation Safety Officer and the Radiation Safety Group within EHS provide training and other services to help individuals work safely. In addition, they perform routine inspections of all use areas and require correction of all violations of radiation safety requirements. Detailed information on the university radiation safety program is available in the Cornell University Radiation Safety Manual.

The performance of the Cornell Radiation Safety Program is reviewed continuously. The Radiation Safety Committee meets 4 times each year to keep policies up-to-date, resolve problems and compliance issues and to monitor the level of radiation exposure to individuals on campus. Historically, less than 1% of the individuals using ionizing radiation at Cornell receive more than 1% of the annual allowable dose limit. The Committee also audits EHS programs and services. In addition, the New York State Department of Health performs an on campus assessment of our program every two years.

The information presented here is only a brief overview of how sources of ionizing radiation are used at Cornell University. While Cornell has demonstrated that it has a solid and consistent safety program, it is important not to take safety for granted. If you have questions or concerns about the use of ionizing radiation where you work, you are entitled to answers and information. The Principal Investigator, area supervisor or any authorized user is willing and able to help you and you should feel free to speak with them. They understand that many individuals have never had formal training about radiation safety. If you need additional assistance or have any other questions, please contact EHS at 607-255-8200 or askEHS@cornell.edu.