university Editor's notes:

POLICY TITLE: Carnegie Mellon University Prenatal Radiation Exposure Policy

DATE OF ISSUANCE: The most recent revision of this policy was approved by the President's Council on May 3, 1999.

ACCOUNTABLE DEPARTMENT/UNIT: Environmental Health and Safety. Questions about policy content should be directed to the Radiation Safety Office, x8-8182.

ABSTRACT: Carnegie Mellon complies with federal regulations to minimize potentially damaging ionizing radiation exposure to the embryos/fetuses of declared pregnant women working in radiologically restricted areas of the university.


Carnegie Mellon University Prenatal Radiation Exposure Policy

Policy Statement

Carnegie Mellon University (Carnegie Mellon) complies with federal regulations to minimize potentially damaging ionizing radiation exposure to the embryos/fetuses of declared pregnant women working in radiologically restricted areas of the university.

To ensure compliance, this policy mandates training for all employees and students who work in radiologically restricted areas regarding the effects of radiation on a developing embryo/fetus. It also mandates a procedure, to be implemented by the radiation safety officer, for ensuring that the radiation exposure of a woman who officially declares her pregnancy does not exceed the level set by federal regulations.

Information and Training

The radiation safety officer shall provide training sessions in which all students and employees, including supervisors, who are to work in restricted radiation areas are informed, orally and in writing, about this Prenatal Radiation Exposure Policy and about potential radiation and non-radiation effects on a developing embryo/fetus. At these sessions, attendees are given the opportunity to have questions answered. The radiation safety officer may, at his or her discretion, administer an oral and/or written exam in order to confirm attendees' understanding of the subject matter.

The radiation safety officer obtains from each attendee a signed acknowledgment of understanding of the Prenatal Radiation Exposure Policy. No employee or student may enter a radiologically restricted area before attending such a training session and signing such an acknowledgment of understanding.

Any declared pregnant employee or student who performs work that results in radiation exposure at other, non-Carnegie Mellon University locations is responsible for informing the Radiation Safety Office of those activities.

Declaration of Pregnancy

Any employee or student who works in a radiologically restricted area of the university and determines she is pregnant may officially declare her pregnancy to the radiation safety officer. To be considered an official declaration of pregnancy, this must be in writing and contain the estimated date of conception. An official declaration of pregnancy form can be obtained from the radiation safety officer.

A pregnant woman has no obligation to officially declare her pregnancy.

Limiting Exposure

Upon receiving an official declaration of pregnancy, the radiation safety officer shall work with the declared pregnant woman's supervisor to review the work being performed by the declared pregnant woman and determine whether exposure is likely to exceed 500 millirems during the pregnancy and/or likely to substantially vary from month to month during the pregnancy. If exposure greater than 500 millirems or significant variation is determined to be likely, the radiation safety officer and supervisor shall identify and implement appropriate precautions and engineering controls to limit radiation dose and/or decrease month-to-month variations.

The radiation safety officer shall also, upon receiving an official declaration of pregnancy, complete a dose assessment on the declared pregnant woman, including sending her whole body radiation dosimeter to an approved laboratory for processing, and possibly including bioassay by urinalysis. The radiation safety officer shall communicate to the declared pregnant woman the results of the dose assessment.

Once a month, the radiation safety officer shall monitor the external occupational dose to a declared pregnant woman using a whole body radiation dosimeter, unless the radiation safety officer considers it unlikely that the embryo/fetus will receive, from sources outside the body of the declared pregnant woman, a dose in excess of 100 millirems during the course of the pregnancy.

The radiation safety officer shall monitor the occupational intake, by bioassay if necessary, of radioactive material by a declared pregnant woman, unless the radiation safety officer considers it unlikely that the declared pregnant woman will receive a "Committed Effective Dose Equivalent" in excess of 100 millirems during the course of the pregnancy, in accordance with Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20.

If the declared pregnant woman's exposure approaches 350 millirems prior to the end of the gestation period, the radiation safety officer shall recommend to the declared pregnant woman and her work supervisor that she reduce her use of radioactive materials. If the declared pregnant woman's exposure reaches or exceeds 450 millirems prior to the end of the gestation period, the radiation safety officer shall notify her supervisor, remove her radiation dosimeters and rescind her authorization to use radioactive material for the remainder of her pregnancy.

Declared pregnant women desiring to further limit their exposure may do so. Any resulting changes in work routine are to be coordinated with their work supervisor.

Records

The radiation safety officer shall maintain all official declarations of pregnancy and exposure records in accordance with Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20, "Standards for Protection Against Radiation."

References

Contact

Questions concerning this policy or its intent should be directed to the Radiation Safety Office, x8-8182.



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