Summary: General Radiation Safety Information About USF Research
Small amounts of radioactive materials are used in research work at the University of South Florida
(USF). Researchers at USF also use radiation-producing equipment such as analytic type x-ray
This general radiation safety information document is being made available to provide information to
ensure students, staff, facility and visitors are aware of the potential hazards associated with USF
research operations with radioactive material or radiation-producing equipment. In compliance with
State of Florida regulations USF requires that a student, staff or facility member complete additional
radiological worker training before performing unescorted work assignments as a radiological worker.
A radiological worker handles radioactive materials or operates radiation-producing devices.
This document provides general information about radiation, its risks, the controls the University of
South Florida implements to ensure the safety of workers, visitors and the environment, and each
individual's rights and responsibilities. For specific information about your work area contact your
supervisor, or the USF Radiation Safety Office at 813-974-1194.
What Is Radiation and Where Does It Come From?
The type of radiation referred to in this document is ionizing radiation-invisible particles or waves of
energy emitted from radioactive atoms or radiation-producing machines. Non-ionizing radiation (e.g.,
laser light and microwave radiation) presents very different hazards and is controlled through the Non-
ionizing Radiation program. The common types of ionizing radiation are alpha, beta, neutron, x-ray,
and gamma radiation. Some radioactive atoms (e.g., uranium-238 and thorium-232) are natural; others