Radiation Safety

Radiation is the process of emitting energy as waves or particles. There are two broad categories of radiation: ionising and non-ionising.

Both types of radiation may be absorbed by our bodies and both cause us harm. Radiation may either be naturally occurring or artificially produced. Radiation may be emitted from a variety of sources including substances; some of these may not be as obvious as others.

There are various legal requirements for working with radiations and radioactive substances to ensure they do not cause harm.

The University's arrangements for complying with the law are set out in the University Health and Safety Policy:

Radiation Safety UHSP/13/RADS/2013 (PDF 198KB)

Ionising Radiation
The University's requirements for implementing the Policy, including assessment and record keeping forms and further information and guidance are set out in Health and Safety Guidance:

Use of Ionising Radiation, GUIDANCE/19/UIR/13 (PDF 260KB)

Radiation (including optical and non-optical)
Optical and non optical ionising radiation precautions (PDF 64KB)
Lasers: specific information and guidance on the safe use


IsoStock is the University’s radiation accountancy software used to track the acquisition, use and disposal of radioactive material.IsoStock is hosted by IT Services via Citrix. Registered users can access the system through the following link; https://www.remote.bham.ac.uk 

To register to use the software please provide your local Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) or Radiation Protection Coordinator (RPC) with your name and adf user name, which they will then pass onto Safety Services for registering on the system.

For queries on the system please contact isostock-admin@contacts.bham.ac.uk. For problems with citrix please see our ‘Accessing IsoStock’ user guide or contact IT Services.


Mobile Phones: are they a health risk?

For reasonable, limited use there is no current evidence to suggest that mobile phones are a health risk.  However other risks should be considered, e.g. not using a mobile phone when driving or near electrical equipment which could be affected by the phone.  For more information about mobile phones and human health refer to the information on the Health Protection Agency website and the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones.

What is considered a safe level of ultraviolet radiation exposure?

Refer to information on the Health Protection Agency website: Ultraviolet Radiation and General Radiation Information

Thoriated tungsten welding electrodes -precautions

Useful links:

A-Z of topics

Contacts for radiation advice

Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 Approved Code of Practice and guidance

Radionuclide and Radiation Protection data handbook

University Health and Safety Policy:

Radiation Safety - Policy, Ionising and Non-ionising Radiation (PDF 198KB)

University Health and Safety Guidance:

Use of Ionising Radiation (PDF 260KB)

Non-ionising Radiation:

Optical Radiation Precautions (64KB)

Information and guidance