Skip to main content

RSO #016

Departmental Procedure: RSO #016   Revised: February, 1995

Subject: Pregnant Worker In Radiation Environment

Authority: Radiation Safety Officer


  1. Purpose. The NCRP has recommended and the new revision of 10 CFR 20 regulation has directed a radiation dose limit of 500 millirems for the embryo and fetus for a declared pregnant worker during the entire gestation period.


  2. Policy.
    1. This NCRP recommendation and the regulatory requirements are adopted as policy by the University of Maryland Radiation Safety Program. This procedure is established to provide protection for the more radiosensitive embryo and fetus, and to establish specific procedures for providing this extra measure of safety.


    2. Assuring an additional level of radiation protection for the embryo and fetus of radiation workers requires close cooperation between the potentially pregnant or pregnant worker and the RSO. Whether or not a radiation worker chooses to openly declare her pregnancy status, it is important that she contact the RSO as early as possible for associated radiation safety information. Early contact will maximize the benefits provided by the safety information.


    3. The Radiation Safety Office (RSO) will provide a copy of this policy to all pregnant and potentially pregnant radiation workers.


    4. Confidentiality -
      1. It is realized that the individual radiation worker may choose to maintain their pregnancy status as personally confidential for a time. Any employee may still obtain fetal dose and related radiation safety information at any time from the RSO without declaring her pregnancy status.
      2. Every potentially pregnant radiation worker is urged to consider her supervisor's responsibility for her safety and freely involve the supervisor in all work-related situations.
      3. The University assumes no responsibility for providing specific fetal radiation dose precautions until a radiation worker openly declares her pregnancy status (in writing) to the Radiation Safety Officer.
  3. Procedures.

    . Declared Pregnancy -


    1. When an employee wishes the University to be involved in protecting her fetus under the 500 millirems dose guideline, she must declare her actual, suspected, or planned pregnancy to her supervisor and the Radiation Safety Officer. A safety conference will be scheduled with the employee, her supervisor and the Radiation Safety Officer or his designee.


    2. During the conference, the employee and her supervisor will be asked to sign a statement confirming that the fetal dose information (NRC Guide 8.13) has been received, personnel monitoring has been established and signifying that the supervisor has been notified.


    3. Such safety conferences are available to any other employee upon request. The conference will be with the Radiation Safety Officer or his designee. The employee will be provided a copy of this policy and the NRC Guide 8.13 entitled "Instruction concerning Prenatal Radiation Exposure". Safety aspects of the employee's work will be discussed and an opportunity for questions provided. The worker's radiation monitoring program, including any past dose records, and the current occupational potential for radiation exposure will be reviewed.

    Fetal Dose Control Procedures -


    1. The radiation worker will be assigned a monthly radiation monitoring badge, if one is not currently assigned, and placed on a monthly bioassay program when radioactive materials are used within the guidelines of RSO Procedure #013.


    2. A separate badge will be issued for wear near the abdomen to monitor embryo/fetus exposure throughout the use of radioactive material while pregnant. Records of this exposure will be kept in the worker's file.


    3. The University's responsibility to protect the embryo/fetus under the 500 millirem dose guideline begins only when the employee declares her condition to her supervisor and the Radiation Safety Officer. Control of the fetal dose will be carried out with full cooperation of the employee. Work assignment changes, consistent with the University personnel policy, may be initiated if necessary.


    4. In conjunction with the 500 millirems fetal dose guideline limit, the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) radiation protection philosophy will be applied to maintain any dose to as low as practicable levels.


    5. Pregnant radiation workers shall not participate in the following duties:
      1. In-room X-ray procedures or portable X-ray work, without adequate shielding.
      2. Other specific higher dose potential duties as determined on a case basis by the Radiation Safety Officer.


    6. All radiation workers have an individual responsibility for adhering to the University of Maryland Radiation Safety policies and procedures.


  4. Reports - Occupational radiation dose reports are maintained by the Radiation Safety Office in each users history file. A copy of the report is available on request, and is routinely sent to the individual yearly and upon termination. Each report includes the monitoring period, dose (millirems) for the immediate past period, current calendar quarter, calendar year and lifetime dose for each user.


  5. Investigation Levels -


    1. Specific procedures for responding to any occupational radiation dose which exceeds established investigation levels are established in the University of Maryland ALARA Program Procedures ALARA.002 and .003 (noted below).

      Investigation Level Part of Body Level I Level II a) Whole Body, head and 100 mr 300 mr trunk, active blood- forming organs, lens of eyes, or gonads b. Hands and forearms, 100 " 300 " feet and ankles c) Skin of whole body 100 " 300 " d. Embryo/fetus 30 " 40 "


    2. When Level I doses are exceeded, the RSO shall send a written description of the dose report statistics. The individual will be requested to review the University of Maryland radiation safety procedures, the research process procedures and work habits in an effort to reduce doses to as low as reasonably achievable. Radiation Safety Office (RSO) will review and consult with the individual where required.


    3. When Level II doses are exceeded, the RSO shall conduct a direct investigation of the situation, including an interview with the person involved. A written report shall be made, including dose trends for that person. Conclusions drawn from the investigation provide a basis for confirming or modifying the dose and for establishing corrective actions to be taken.


    4. Current investigational radiation dose guidelines for declared pregnant or planned pregnancy of workers shall be reduced to the levels indicated in 1.d) above. If the dual badge monitoring results indicate the possibility of an embryo/fetus receiving a dose in excess of 500 millirem limit, a special investigation will be conducted and will take into consideration the type and energy of radiations involved, and protective shielding afforded by the mother's body. The investigation results will be discussed with the worker and a written report provided.



I hereby certify that I have received a copy of NRC Reg Guide 8.13, and a personal monitoring program has been established for me. I have been given an opportunity to ask questions concerning the safety aspects of exposure to the fetus.


Signed ______________________________. Date __________________


Supervisor __________________________. Date __________________


RSO/Designee ________________________. Date __________________



File: Worker's History File





Radiation Safety Officer




Declaration of Pregnancy

This is to inform you that I am currently pregnant or suspect that I am pregnant and would like to schedule a radiation safety consultation.

My expected delivery date: _____________________.

Responsible Investigator (Supervisor): ______________________.



File: Worker's History File


Record of Attendance
Pregnancy Consultation

_____________________________ has completed a session with the Radiation Safety Officer in which the risks of working with radiation were reviewed, NRC Guide 8.13 was reviewed, and an opportunity to ask questions was given.

Upon written notification to the Radiation Safety Office that she is pregnant, exposure records will be initiated for her and the embryo/fetus (a special record for pregnant workers), and records will be maintained until pregnancy is completed.

I understand it is my responsibility to notify the Radiation Safety Office in writing of any change in my status so that my personnel dosimetry badges may be properly recorded or discontinued.

Date: _____________________

Worker: __________________________

Radiation Safety Officer: _________________________

File: Worker's History File

Back to Top