PULLMAN, Wash. — Access to two research laboratories in Washington State University’s Eastlick Hall has been restricted, pending an investigation to follow up on a low level of contamination found on radiation monitoring badges used in the laboratories.
The company that services the badges for WSU recently submitted a report of unusual badge readings. The university’s Radiation Safety Office conducted an investigation that showed a slight amount of radioactive contamination on those badges, but no evidence of personnel contamination or harmful exposure to individuals.
Len Porter, WSU director of radiation safety, indicated Thursday morning that there is no risk to the public or to employees working in the building.
A full series of appropriate tests are being carried out to provide as much information as possible about the situation, he said.
“The university takes such incidents seriously, and is taking all necessary precautions while keeping the Washington Department of Health fully informed,” he said.
“To be prudent, we are restricting access to the two labs in Eastlick Hall while all necessary assessments are done as to the level and sources of contamination,” WSU Provost Gretchen Bataille said Thursday morning. “We are taking every precaution while final tests are completed.”
The laboratories use very low levels of radioisotopes to track the movement of molecules, a common research procedure.
More information will be released when tests are completed, university officials said.