Surveys and Reports

Routine surveys are required for all spaces associated with a radioactive materials permit. The survey type and frequency are assigned as part of the permit approval process. The survey results are entered into IsoTrack and form part of the periodic report which is required quarterly for most permits.

Surface Contamination Survey

The surveys should be conducted using dry filter paper and analyzed with the appropriate counting instrument (liquid scintillation or gamma counter). All results must be reported in disintegrations per minute (DPM). Locations should include those where radioactive materials are stored, handled and/or discarded. 


  1.  Workstation, bench top or fume hood working surface
  2.   Floor in front of workstation
  3.   Refrigerator/freezer shelves and handles
  4.   Floor in front of refrigerator/freezer
  5.   Equipment surfaces, knobs and handles (centrifuge, incubator, water bath, etc.)
  6.   Radioactive waste container lids and handles
  7.   Floor area around radioactive waste containers
  8.   Sink basins and faucet controls where lab ware is rinsed
  9.   Liquid scintillation and gamma counter surfaces, knobs and buttons
  10.   Door handles and floors of access points to all restricted areas

If the result of a smear is >250 DPM/100 cm2, you must decontaminate the area, resurvey and submit the new results with the periodic report.

Exposure Rate Survey

If high energy beta or gamma emitters are used, a monthly exposure rate survey is also required. Locations should include those where radioactive materials are stored, routinely handled, and discarded. Measurements should be taken at normal working or occupancy positions.  Examples:

  1.  Workstation, chest level at normal standing distance
  2.   Refrigerator/freezer (or other storage area) at normal working distance
  3.   Radioactive waste containers at normal working distance

If an exposure rate exceeds 2.5 mR/hr at a normal working distance, you must take immediate action to reduce the exposure (e.g. modify shielding). The DRS recommends that exposure rates remain below 0.25mR/hr at normal working distance.

Process for entering survey results

  1.  Go to the IsoTrack system
  2.  Login with your University ID (x500) and password
  3.  Select Monitoring and Compliance link of the left (or Monitoring tab at top)
  4.  Select Perform a Laboratory Survey
  5.  Select the Laboratory you wish to survey
  6.  Record the date of the survey
  7.  Indicate the reason for the survey
  8.  Indicate the isotope(s) used
  9.  Indicate the protocol(s) used
  10.  Record the instrument(s) used
  11.  Record the efficiency or background of the instrument
  12.  Record the results of the survey then save the results