9. RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT
All radioactive materials
(including uranium & thorium compounds), x-ray devices, and similar
radiation equipment must be licensed to be purchased, used and stored at
NMSU. Licensing must be done via the NMSU Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) at
EH&S. The Radiation Safety Committee reviews each new application. The
Radiation safety manual is on the NMSU Safety website and radiation training
is available from EH&S.
Disposal options for radioactive material include decay in storage, transfer
to EH&S, sewer disposal and transfer to a licensed user.
Each user of radioactive material is responsible for segregating waste by
isotope and type.
Waste must be stored in an appropriate, properly labeled, leak proof
Records of radioisotope use and disposition are maintained by each
Biodegradable or environmentally safe scintillation cocktails must be used
because of disposal restrictions on hazardous wastes contaminated with
All types of radioactive waste must be segregated by isotope except for
carbon-14 and tritium, which may be mixed.
Solid Waste, includes laboratory trash, paper, plastic, gloves, soils, test
tubes and glassware. Broken glass or sharps must be placed in a rigid,
puncture proof container labeled “sharps.”
Liquid Scintillation Vial (LSV) Wastes are scintillation fluids inside
Bulk Liquid Scintillation Fluids containing other liquids must be clearly
labeled with the percentage of each component in the waste container.
Aqueous Wastes that are readily soluble, not otherwise hazardous, and fall
within specified limits may be disposed in the sanitary sewer as authorized
in the user’s permit.
Biological Waste (contaminated animal carcasses, tissues, blood, human and
animal secretions) and Special Waste (hazardous chemical pathogenic or
infectious material) requires pre-approval by the RSO at EH&S (646-3327).