Radiation and Laser Safety


To protect the health and safety of its faculty, staff, students, visitors, and the environment by appropriately identifying and managing radiological hazards; to minimize radiation exposure resulting from the use of ionizing radiation sources to levels that are as low as is reasonably achievable; and to comply with applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and guidelines. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign holds a Type A Broad Scope Radioactive Materials License issued by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) in accordance with the Illinois Radiation Protection Act of 1990, 420 ILCS 40/1-49, and is required to register radiation-producing machines and laser sources with IEMA under the Radiation Protection Act and the Illinois Laser System Act of 1997, 402 ILCS 56/1. The Urbana campus is also subject to requirements of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


This policy applies to all members of the campus community, including but not limited to university faculty and staff, adjunct and clinical faculty, visiting faculty, postdoctoral appointees, visiting scholars, visiting scientists, students and visitors using radioactive materials or radiation-producing machines, or using Class IIIB or Class IV lasers in university-sponsored activities conducted in campus facilities or off-campus locations.


Vice Chancellor for Research


Individuals engaged in university-sponsored activities that involve ionizing radiation sources or Class IIIB or Class IV lasers must comply with:

  1. Policies and requirements adopted by the Radiation and Laser Safety Committee (RLSC).
  2. Standards and procedures approved by the Division of Research Safety (DRS) or the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR).

All radiation-producing machines and laser systems used at or owned by the university must be:

  1. Registered with IEMA through the DRS.
  2. Operated in a manner that is compliant with applicable federal and state regulations.
  3. Compliant with standards approved by the DRS or the OVCR.


The VCR is the institutional official responsible for compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to the use of radiation and lasers. The VCR appoints a Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) in DRS who is responsible for implementing the campus radiation and laser safety program, and the VCR appoints the members of RLSC. The DRS, which reports to the OVCR, administers the campus radiation and laser safety program, provides training in radiation and laser safety, and supports the RLSC.

Faculty or staff must submit to DRS applications for authorization to use radioactive materials or registrations of X-ray or other radiation producing machines and of laser systems. The DRS has authority to review and approve proposals for procurement, use, and transfer of radiation sources and laser systems on behalf of the RLSC following guidelines approved by that committee. The RLSC reviews proposals deemed by the RSO or DRS to involve unusually hazardous uses of radiation sources or lasers. The RLSC or the RSO have the authority to permit, deny or revoke authorization for individuals to obtain and use radiation sources and may suspend any activity involving radiation or laser hazards that poses an immediate health hazard.

The RLSC may establish additional policies or requirements for the use of radiation sources and lasers in the interest of safety or for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The DRS may establish standards and procedures necessary for safety, implementation of RLSC policies, for compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, and for business management of the campus radiation and laser safety program. Current safety policies, standards and procedures are available from the DRS.


There are no exceptions unless specifically permitted by state and federal laws and regulations. The RLSC or DRS must specifically approve any permitted exceptions in writing.


The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.