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I have been working with it a lot lately...although pretty small amounts (<500uCi in the entire lab at any one time). Anybody else work with the stuff? Sometimes I worry about the exposure to my hands and eyes. I have never been able to find any definative information about what level of exposure is safe. Its strange, a couple of people in the lab are scared to death of it, others claim its totally harmless and dont worry much about shielding. I guess most are like me, not afraid of it, but pretty carefull with trying to shield it as much as possible. Anyone have any good info re: how dangerous p32 (B) exposure is? Or just an opinion for that matter...
 
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Gfunk6 said:
I would hope that you are wearing a radiation safety badge. They can pretty easily tell your level of exposure by monthly checks of the film inside.

Nah...we dont bother. It most likely wouldnt pickup any exposure. I'm very carefull to keep my body shielded, except when the exposure is absolutely necessary. Its really my hands that get all of the exposure. Latex gloves should provide some protection...but not a ton. Eyes are also a worry, but i wear glasses, so not so much for me.

Whats really strange to me is that everyone has a conflicting opinion on how much risk is involved (certainly pretty small). What i havent been able to find online is a relatively simple quantitative assesment of the risk.
 

huseyin

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logos said:
I have been working with it a lot lately...although pretty small amounts (<500uCi in the entire lab at any one time). Anybody else work with the stuff? Sometimes I worry about the exposure to my hands and eyes. I have never been able to find any definative information about what level of exposure is safe. Its strange, a couple of people in the lab are scared to death of it, others claim its totally harmless and dont worry much about shielding. I guess most are like me, not afraid of it, but pretty carefull with trying to shield it as much as possible. Anyone have any good info re: how dangerous p32 (B) exposure is? Or just an opinion for that matter...

It is not that bad. Just do not swallow it. :) Actually, the color of it is quite tempting. :love: Seriously, it is not as bad as I 125. I heard that if you work with it let's say 4 hrs and then put the geiger counter oiover your thyroid, it screams.
 

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logos said:
I have been working with it a lot lately...although pretty small amounts (<500uCi in the entire lab at any one time). Anybody else work with the stuff? Sometimes I worry about the exposure to my hands and eyes. I have never been able to find any definative information about what level of exposure is safe. Its strange, a couple of people in the lab are scared to death of it, others claim its totally harmless and dont worry much about shielding. I guess most are like me, not afraid of it, but pretty carefull with trying to shield it as much as possible. Anyone have any good info re: how dangerous p32 (B) exposure is? Or just an opinion for that matter...
I have used it for end-labeling and uniformly labeled probes. I use it behind a plastic shield and use plastic eyeglasses and wear a lab coat when I have to load the stuff on a gel and when getting rid of the free counts from a gel buffer. Some in our lab wear the full faceshield. I usually check with a Geiger counter to make sure I didn't spill it on myself or some place strange. I don't have a film badge, but I know the some of the state institutions are more careful with their radioactivity safety than we are.

I generally try to avoid being directly exposed to the radiation; the lab bench is about the same height as my "nads" so I want to avoid making germline mutations.... Better safe than sorry.
 
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huseyin said:
It is not that bad. Just do not swallow it. :) Actually, the color of it is quite tempting.
Yeah, ive been told that someplaces get dyed p32. Ours is just clear.

My PI thinks it its exceedingly safe, always trying to make people feel better about it. When I first came to the lab he told me (broken english) not to drink it, not because he thought it would hurt me, but because we only have about 50ul, which were expensive and wont do much to quench my thirst.
 

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logos said:
Nah...we dont bother. It most likely wouldnt pickup any exposure.
That's why you should have, and wear, a ring badge in addition to the body one.

logos said:
What i havent been able to find online is a relatively simple quantitative assesment of the risk.
It's not a simple issue and you will not find such a thing. Nobody really knows.
 

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Total whole-body exposure of 5 rem a year is considered the maximum safe level. If I remember correctly, that's about 1mCi/year applied directly to the skin. So if you're using submillicurie amounts it is safe to go sans shielding. You'd just need eye protection, rad badge, gloves, and labcoat. I've seen postdocs trying to piece together broken gels with their face inches from fresh 32p. Personally, I like to keep it behind 1/4" plexiglass and limit length of exposure time and closeness to the source.

Germline mutations are a big fear----Perkin Elmer should sell lead cups :laugh:
 

Ottercreek

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One problem with 32P is that your body loves to incorporated phosphate into newly synthesized DNA...just don't get any in your system.
 
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Ottercreek said:
One problem with 32P is that your body loves to incorporated phosphate into newly synthesized DNA...just don't get any in your system.

Well, sort of. We exclusively use gamma P32 ATP. If it were to be incorperated the radioactive phosphate would leave as pyrophosphate and get chopped up by a pyrophosphatase....although it could then be used for something else. Now alpha p32 would be a little different, if they make it...i would assume they do. Even so, the half life is so short that this is not so much a worry as with things like C14, which will irradiate you at the same rate for the rest of your life if incorperated into your body. Ive heard that some people from other labs dont like one of our rooms just because it was a C14 lab 15 years ago....stuff lasts forever.
 

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logos said:
Well, sort of. We exclusively use gamma P32 ATP. If it were to be incorperated the radioactive phosphate would leave as pyrophosphate and get chopped up by a pyrophosphatase....although it could then be used for something else. Now alpha p32 would be a little different, if they make it...i would assume they do. Even so, the half life is so short that this is not so much a worry as with things like C14, which will irradiate you at the same rate for the rest of your life if incorperated into your body. Ive heard that some people from other labs dont like one of our rooms just because it was a C14 lab 15 years ago....stuff lasts forever.
we use 32p in my lab for hybridization but it's not a big concern though we had the recent spill :eek: ... shielding behind the plexiglass should be enough... the half life is so short that it isn't that worrisome. (though we dont run it in gels...)

don't sweat it. hopefully none of us will end up like curie :p