Biological & Radiation Safety

Biological Safety

TU's biological safety programs and policies are managed in conjunction with the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Our goal is to protect students, faculty, staff, laboratory personnel and the environment from biohazardous substances and ensure compliance with applicable regulations.

We provide information to researchers on biological spill procedures (PDF), including the recommended contents of biological spill kits (PDF) to aid in quick response to lab accidents. We also provide procedures for conducting lab inspections, safely disposing of personal sharps (PDF) and properly disposing of infectious/special medical waste (PDF). We provide recommendations to lab personnel who use recombinant DNA for research (PDF) and encourage compliance with the university's policy on animals in buildings.

Our bloodborne pathogens program (PDF) is consistent with OSHA standards for controlling exposure in the incidence of a blood spill. We also offer specific recommendations on blood spills and trauma scenes (PDF).

Biological Agents and Toxins

New regulations have been enacted governing the use, handling and transfer of select agents (PDF). These are certain bacteria, viruses, toxins and nucleic acids that have been determined to have the potential to pose a severe threat to human, animal and/or plant health or to animal and/or plant products. The US Patriot Act places restrictions on who can possess select agents. In compliance with the Public Health Security Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, all faculty planning to use a select agent must notify Environmental Health and Safety prior to receiving/shipping the select agent. The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture provide additional regulations on select agents via 42 CFR Part 73 (PDF), 9 CFR Part 121 (PDF) and 7 CFR 331 (PDF).

Radiation Safety

The Radiation Safety Program (PDF) oversees all uses of radioactive materials and radiation-producing devices in teaching and research laboratories on campus. Our goal is to assure the safety of faculty, staff and students who might be exposed to radiation in the course of their work. We do this by following the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in their "as low as reasonably achievable" concept, and by coordinating and maintaining compliance of the university's NRC/State Radioactive Material License.

We are available to help departments maintain radiation safety by reviewing and approving the use of radioactive materials or radiation-producing devices; surveying laboratories where radioisotopes are used; administering the personal dosimetry program; maintaining survey instrument calibration; providing training on the safe use and handling of radioisotopes for research; maintaining the inventory and control of radioisotopes on campus including the receipt, delivery, transport and disposal of all radioactive material; and providing guidance on the safe use of x-rays, lasers and microwave devices.

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