How to proceed in case of contaminations?

Instructions for conduct in the event of contamination


    1. Keep calm!

Do not touch anything with contaminated hands (avoid carryover of activity)!  An increased α-value may refer to natural activity, increased β-values are always civilizing activities.


    1. Always contact the radiation protection team in case of a contamination!

(Let) call a person of the radiation protection group for support. Depending on the time of day, it is possible that only a deputy radiation protection officer is available. Outside business hours an on call (deputy) radiation protection officer is always available under 0171 277 9040.

The following steps can also be started without a radiation protection team member.


    1. Decontaminate: Wash your skin!

For contaminations at the controlled area in the building 1264 there is a basin at the man lock (or at the laboratories). For contaminations in the foyer of the building the next basin for decontamination is at the laboratory 00 126.

Skin will be decontaminated by washing the contaminated area with lukewarm, running water and only after the 3rd washing circle with washing lotion. Do not damage the skin! Do not wash longer than approx. 2 minutes so as not to stress the skin unnecessarily.
Shoes can be washed under running water with the provided brushes.


    1. Determine decontamination success!

Regularly, between the washing circles, measure (or have measured) at the HFK or with a mobile contamination monitor whether the contamination has decreased.


    1. Discuss further procedure with the radiation protection team

Depending on the amount of the remaining contamination the radiation protection team decides on further measures (Retraction of shoes, further decontamination products, contact to the authorized medical practitioner, etc.). In the case of adherent contaminations at the skin, a glove for example may help that the contamination is transported out of the skin with the aid of perspiration.


    1. Finding the cause for the contamination and fix it or have it fixed

If the contamination is not natural, contamination of other persons has to be prevented. This means the hazardous area must be marked to prevent the spread of radioactivity. The decontamination of the hazardous area should start as soon as possible.


Notice: A remaining minor residual contamination < 10 Bq/cm² (reference point) of the skin is usually less harmful than an overstressed skin with the risk of incorporation of the activity. (The epidermis renews itself, therefore a permanent contamination is unrealistic.)