UW Emergency Management

May 20, 2019

May 2, 2019 – July 2019 (Accidental Radiological Spill Forces Extended Closure of Harborview Research & Training Building)

During a planned decommissioning of a piece of medical equipment, federal cleanup contractors accidentally spilled a small amount of highly-radioactive materials inside of the Harborview Research and Training Building.  As a result and to ensure the safety of occupants and nearby personnel, the entire building was closed during the remediation and cleanup process.  13 UW/Harborview employees, researchers, and emergency response personnel were initially exposed to the Cesium-137.  However, all were immediately evaluated and treated.  The longer-lasting impact of the full-building closure, lasting weeks, directly impacted over 20 medical research labs in the 7-story building.  The total estimated federal research in this building that were at risk is estimated over $13 million.  UWEM supported the off-site response efforts by coordinating requests for resources and acting as a liaison between UW PEAT response teams and public information officials working with local media covering the incident.  More information on this incident can be found HERE online.