Equipment for Safe Handling of Radioactive Isotopes

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THE use of radioactive isotopes in medical institutions is growing continuously. Shipments of radioactive isotopes for medical therapy from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have increased from approximately 500 in 1947 to 5000 in 1952. Proper protection against undesirable radiation of all those handling radioactive materials is of utmost importance and numerous articles and books on “health physics” are available.1

Many pieces of safety equipment for handling radioactive isotopes are commercially available. They comprise lead and iron bricks (regular or interlocking), lead and iron storage containers, mobile lead safety shields and carriers, lead test tube racks, remote handling tongs and remote pipetting devices. Yet many isotope laboratories are confronted with individual protection problems which cannot always be solved with equipment on the market. Most commercial equipment is also expensive, and not all laboratories can afford this expense in addition to the fundamentally necessary instruments such as Geiger counters and monitors.

For these reasons we have constructed during the last few years several pieces of safety equipment which have proved useful. Although some of these pieces seem to be novel, no originality is claimed for any of the units described. These units are used in the Clinical Isotope Section at the Cleveland Clinic where the two isotopes, I131 and P82, are used almost exclusively.

Isotope Storage Unit. A convenient storage arrangement can be set up with 2 by 4 by 8 inch lead bricks, which form the body of the unit, and 2 by 4 by 4 inch bricks for the . . .



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