With the increasing use of radioactive materials as a means to identify sentinel lymph nodes, the proper handling of radioactive materials has become an increasing concern in the surgical pa-thology laboratory. Although the risk of signifi-cant radiation exposure associated with these sentinel lymph nodes is believed to be very low, each institution should nonetheless develop writ-ten procedures for handling all radioactive speci-mens. These procedures should be developed in conjunction with the institution’s radiation safety officer and should encompass issues related to the labeling, transportation, processing, storage, and disposal of radioactive specimens. The radia-tion safety officer is also responsible for training pathology personnel regarding safety issues. Do not be shy about contacting your institution’s ra-diation safety office if you have questions about general policy issues or specific concerns regard-ing a radioactive specimen.
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