Radioisotope Fact Sheets - Guidelines

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

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).

This guideline should be read with in conjunction with other UQ Radiation Safety procedures and guidelines.

2.0    Process and Key Controls

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.

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 procedure Radiation Safety - Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management.

3.0  Fact Sheets for Commonly Used Radioisotopes

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




Radiation type

Carbon 14

C-14 / 14C


Calcium 45

Ca-45 / 45Ca


Cadmium 109

Cd-109 / 109Cd


Chlorine 36

Cl-36 / 36Cl


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

Florine 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


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


Phosphorous 33

P-33 / 33P


Rubidium 86

Rb-86 / 86Rb


Sodium 22

Na-22 / 22Na


Sulphur 35

S-35 / 35S


Technetium 99m

Tc-99m / 99mTc

weak gamma

Uranium 238


Alpha, beta, gamma

Uranium natural

U-234, 235, 238, Th-234

Alpha, beta, gamma

Zinc 65

Zn-65 / 65Zn

strong gamma

 4.0    Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)

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.

They include the following radioisotopes:

  • 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)

  • individual long-lived radionuclides such as potassium-40 (K-40), rubidium-87 (Rb-87) and indium-115 (In-115).

5.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The 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.

6.0    Appendix

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

  • volunteers and students undertaking work experience.

Director, Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Jim Carmichael
Director, Health, Safety and Wellness Mr Jim Carmichael