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Radiochemistry Laboratory

Radiochemist in Laboratory

What is radiation?


Ionizing radiation is energy in the form of waves or particles that has enough force to remove electrons from atoms.


As unstable radioactive atoms (also referred to as radionuclides or radioisotopes) seek to become more stable, their nuclei eject or emit particles and high-energy waves in aprocess is known as radioactive decay. Read more about ionizing and non-ionizing radiation and the health effects of human exposure to radiation.


What does the Radiochemistry Lab do?


  • Measures background radiation and higher levels that can be harmful to humans.
  • Detects contamination in lungs and other body tissues of radiation workers, evaluating hazards and recommending follow-up actions.
  • Monitors for contamination to ensure the safe usage of radioactive materials.
  • Provides proven procedures to new or inexperienced users of radioactive materials in locations such as hospitals, construction sites and manufacturing facilities.


Types of Samples Analyzed:

Air filters; water and wastewater; wipe samples; soil, solids and sludge; and humans (whole body counting).


Whole Body Counting (in vivo gamma spectrometry):


The Laboratory Services Division has performed in vivo gamma spectrometry (Whole Body Counting) since the early 1960s. Whole Body Counting has been performed for nuclear reactor workers, State inspectors and radiation workers, workers at a variety of cleanup sites, immigrants from Ukraine and uranium mill workers.  Whole Body Counting is available by appointment only.  Contact the Radiochemistry lab manager


Additional Resources: