For radiation-related emergencies, please call
(310) 825-5396 during business hours; alternatively (310) 825-5689
Outside of business hours, call 911.
Radiation emergencies include (but are not limited to) over-exposure from a radiation-producing machine or from radioactive materials; personal contamination from radioactive materials; inhalation or ingestion of radioactive materials; and radioactive material spills.
Radiation Safety staff are available to assist or advise you in case of minor spills, which may or may not be emergencies. A major spill is one which occurs in public, in an uncontrolled area, or one that you do not have the resources to contain or clean up. Major spills must be reported to Radiation Safety, but we encourage you to contact the department for minor spills as well.
In the case of a spill,
- Stop the spill. Take actions to prevent the further spread of radioactive contamination.
- Warn others. Report the spill to the numbers listed above. Note contaminated and/or injured personnel. Call UCLA 911 for medical emergencies. Treatment of life-threatening injuries is a priority over spill actions. Document all spill actions.
- Isolate the spill area. Use physical boundaries if possible. Verify contamination boundaries by scanning with the appropriate radiation detection instrument. Note that some isotopes (Tritium, H-3, for example) cannot be detected using portable instrumentation. A liquid scintillation counter must be used in this case.
- Minimize your exposure. Wear necessary protective clothing. Avoid contact with the skin. Utilize time, distance and shielding. Avoid ingestion and inhalation of radioactivity.