Radioactive Waste Guidelines

Radioactive Waste Segregation


  • Segregate radioisotopes by waste type:
    • Solid Waste - lab debris (paper, etc.), disposable gloves, plastic pigs
    • Non-hazardous Liquid Waste - buffers, aqueous liquids with a pH between 7 and 11
    • Hazardous Liquid Waste - flammable, corrosive, toxic, etc.
    • Liquid Scintillation Cocktail - vials containing scintillation cocktail
    • Sharps - needles, razor blades
    • Bio-hazardous Waste - animal carcasses or tissue
    • Lead - pigs, bricks, foil

    NOTE: Recycle your lead containers and lead foil for FREE! DO NOT place your lead containers and lead foil into your dry radioactive waste containers. Simply call EHS at 949-824-6200 to have your lead containers and lead foil picked up at no charge to you.


  • Within each waste type, segregate radioisotopes by half-life:
    • < 15 days (such as 32P and 111In)
    • 15 - 28 days (such as 33P and 51Cr)
    • 29 - 60 days (such as 59Fe and 125I)
    • 61 - 90 days (such as 35S)
    • 90 days (such as 3H, 14C, 57Co, 22Na, 45Ca)


Radioactive Waste Labeling And Storage

  • Use labels and containers provided by EHS for labeling and storage of radioactive waste. Call EHS at 824-4862 to request empty containers and labels.
  • Always place liquid container in secondary containment to adequately contain all of the contents of the container/spilled materials.
  • Mark storage areas with " Caution Radioactive Material" signs that include the magenta trefoil radiation symbol.
  • Keep containers closed when not in use.
  • Do not dump it down the drain!
  • Do not dispose of radioactive materials/waste via sinks or trashcans.
  • Do not intentionally evaporate radioactive materials/waste.