Safe Use of Radioisotopes

Jill Meisenhelder1, Kentaro Semba1

1 The Salk Institute, La Jolla, California
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Cell Biology
Unit Number:  Appendix 1D
DOI:  10.1002/0471143030.cba01ds00
Online Posting Date:  May, 2001
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Abstract

The use of radioisotopes to label specific molecules in a defined way has greatly advanced the discovery and dissection of biochemical pathways. The development of methods to inexpensively synthesize such tagged biological compounds on an industrial scale has enabled them to be used routinely in laboratory protocols, including many detailed in this manual. Although most of these protocols involve the use of only microcurie (mCi) amounts of radioactivity, some (particularly those describing the metabolic labeling of proteins or nucleic acids within cells) require amounts on the order of millicuries (mCi). In all cases where radioisotopes are used, depending on the quantity and nature of the isotope, certain precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of the investigator. It is essential to use good safety practices and proper protection to handle radioactive substances. This unit discusses storage, handling, and disposal of 35S, 32P, 33P, and 125I.

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • Background Information
  • General Precautions
  • Specific Precautions
  • Dealing with Accidents
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
  • Tables
     
 
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Materials

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Figures

Videos

Literature Cited

Literature Cited
  Dawson, R.M.C., Elliot, D.C., Elliott, W.H., and Jones, K.M. (eds.) 1986. Data for Biochemical Research. Alden Press, London.
  Lederer, C.M., Hollander, J.M., and Perlman, I. (eds.) 1967. Table of Radioisotopes, 6th edition. John Wiley and Sons, New York.
   Meisenhelder, J. and Hunter, T. 1988. Radioactive protein‐labelling techniques. Nature 335:120:120.
  Shleien, B. (ed.) 1987. Radiation Safety Manual for Users of Radioisotopes in Research and Academic Institutions. Nucleon Lectern Associates, Olney, Md.
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