radioactive contamination(redirected from Radioactive exposure)
the undesirable addition of radioactive material to the body or part of the environment, such as clothing or equipment. Contamination of the body by beta radiation may occur through the ingestion, inhalation, or absorption of a beta emitter. Instruments, drapes, surgical gloves, and clothing that come in contact with serous fluids, blood, and urine of patients containing beta or gamma radiation emitters may be contaminated. The severity of the contamination is directly related to the elapsed time between the administration of the radioactive isotope and surgery. On completion of the procedure, possibly contaminated material is isolated and checked. If found to be contaminated, it is disposed of according to institutional and federal standards for the disposal of radioactive waste.