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Shipping Expected Packages of Radioactive Material

It is sometimes necessary for small amounts of radiolabeled materials to be shipped to CROs, collaborative organizations, or other institutions.  Would you know what to do if you were asked how to proceed with an excepted shipment?

The Radiation Safety Officer needs to be informed of any projected shipments of radioactive material to ensure that the proper steps are taken.  As with any shipment of a hazardous substance or dangerous good, it is critical that the persons involved in preparing the package for shipment are properly trained.  This includes Department of Transportation (DOT) hazmat employee training for all shipments, and International Air Transport Association (IATA) training for any shipments being sent via air.  All persons involved in handling radioactive material also need to be current in radiation safety training in accordance with your institutional policy.

Verification that the receiving institution is licensed to obtain the radioactive material should be acquired by requesting a copy of their current license.  Limited quantities of radioactive material and excepted package requirements can be found in 49 CFR 173 Subpart I.  There are specific stipulations that must be strictly adhered to when shipping excepted packages.  All documentation associated with a shipment should be maintained in the central safety files.

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