View current

Radioisotope Fact Sheets Guideline

This is the current version of the approved document. You can provide feedback on this document to the Enquiries Contact - refer to the Status and Details tab from the menu bar above.

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Guideline contains a list of links to the fact sheets of unsealed radioisotopes commonly used in appropriately certified radiation laboratories within The University of Queensland (UQ).

(2) This Guideline should be read with in conjunction with UQ’s Radiation Safety - Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management Procedure and other UQ procedures and guidelines pertaining to radiation safety. 

Top of Page

Section 2 - Process and Key Controls

(3) The radioisotope fact sheets provided within this Guideline have been produced with the relevant information from the Radiation Safety Regulation 2021 (Regulation) and other relevant sources. These isotopes are often used as tracers and used in very dilute solutions and most will have short half-lives.

(4) Work with these radioisotopes must be performed in laboratories certified for use with unsealed sources. Users must meet regulatory requirements (e.g. Use Licences, Approval to Acquire, etc.) as detailed in the Radiation Safety - Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management Procedure.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Fact Sheets for Commonly Used Radioisotopes

(5) Click on the radioisotope name to obtain its Safety Data Sheet in PDF format.

Name Radioisotope Radiation type
Carbon 14 C-14 / 14C beta
Calcium 45 Ca-45 / 45Ca beta
Cadmium 109 Cd-109 / 109Cd X-ray
Chlorine 36 Cl-36 / 36Cl beta
Cobalt 57 Co-57 / 57Co low energy X-rays and gamma
Chromium 51 Cr-51 / 51Cr low energy X-rays and gamma
Copper 64 Cu-64 / 64Cu beta and gamma
Copper 67 Cu-67 / 67Cu beta and gamma
Fluorine 18 F-18 / 18F beta and gamma
Iron 55 Fe-55 / 55Fe weak X-rays (and auger electrons)
Iron 59 Fe-59 / 59Fe beta and strong gamma
Tritium H-3 / 3H weak beta
Iodine 125 I-125 / 125I weak X-rays
Magnesium 54 Mn-54 / 54Mn weak X-rays and strong gamma
Phosphorous 32 P-32 / 32P beta
Phosphorous 33 P-33 / 33P beta
Rubidium 86 Rb-86 / 86Rb beta
Sodium 22 Na-22 / 22Na beta
Sulphur 35 S-35 / 35S beta
Technetium 99m Tc-99m / 99mTc weak gamma
Uranium 238 U-238 Alpha, beta, gamma
Uranium natural U-234, 235, 238, Th-234 Alpha, beta, gamma
Zinc 65 Zn-65 / 65Zn strong gamma
Top of Page

Section 4 - Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)

(6) NORM is the term used to describe materials containing radioisotopes that exist in the natural environment, e.g. uranium ores and thorium in the form of mineral sands.

(7) They include the following radioisotopes:

  1. long-lived radionuclides such as uranium-238 (U-238), uranium-235 (U-235) and thorium-232 (Th-232), and their radioactive decay products (such as radium, radon, polonium, bismuth and lead);
  2. individual long-lived radionuclides such as potassium-40 (K-40), rubidium-87 (Rb-87) and indium-115 (In-115).
Top of Page

Section 5 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(8) This Guideline will be reviewed and updated by the Radiation Protection Consultant on a regular basis, especially when there are changes in the legislation which may affect the accuracy of the radionuclide.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Appendix


Term Definition
UQ workers For the purposes of this Guideline includes:
• staff - continuing, fixed-term, research (contingent funded) and casual staff;
• contractors, subcontractors and consultants working under UQ systems and control (e.g. contingent workers);
• visiting academics and researchers;
• academic title holders, visiting academics, emeritus professors, adjunct and honorary title-holders, industry fellows and conjoint appointments;
• higher degree by research students; and
• volunteers and students undertaking work experience.