Environmental Health & Safety Video Training Series 




This video provides guidance for the safe operation of low energy x-ray diffraction machines used by structural biologists. It is intended to supplement the formal instruction provided in each institution and each laboratory. This video is not a substitute for a safety training program.

"If you work with something that is a known hazard there are two things. First, you have to respect what is hazardous about it. Second, it is terribly important not to be afraid of it if you know there are appropriate safety measures you can take that will ensure you are not going to be exposed to an undue hazard. In the case of x-rays… it is important to understand what the real hazards are and how to work safely around a x-ray beam."

Stephen C. Harrison, Ph.D.

HHMI Investigator

Harvard University

"The most important thing, even above all the safety rules, is that a person has an understanding of a potential danger of the situation. And, it should be a reasonable danger; it should not be exaggerated. A lot of times people are terrified of radioactivity or x-rays to the point where they become unreasonable about it and therefore do not adopt a sensible and healthy attitude."

Paul B. Sigler, M.D., Ph.D.

HHMI Investigator

Yale University

"With due caution, the practice of x-ray diffraction experimentation is not in our view any way at all hazardous…not a problem as long as you handle things appropriately."

Wayne A. Henderickson, Ph.D.

HHMI Investigator

Columbia University


Viewing time:  9:27 Minutes - Click here to view this video

Produced by Schumann Productions for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Office of Laboratory Safety 


Used with permission