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Why you might spot vehicles at UBC with 'radioactive materials' signage

Have you seen this?
A student on the UBC campus recently spotted a truck with the signage near a cordoned-off area by the Fred Kaiser Building on Main Mall. 

You might spot vehicles on the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus with "radioactive materials" signage — but that shouldn't be cause for concern. 

A student on campus recently spotted a truck with brightly-coloured signage near a cordoned-off area by the Fred Kaiser Building on Main Mall. 

While the signage might look somewhat alarming, particularly with the word "radioactive" beneath it, the vehicle was likely used for transporting material. 

Matthew Ramsey, Director of University Affairs at UBC, told Vancouver Is Awesome that there was no radioactive incident at the campus and students had no reason to be concerned.

"It doesn't pose any risk to the public," he assured.

The vehicle appears to be a delivery vehicle and it is common to see ones like it at the UBC Vancouver campus, given that the university has several labs and research facilities. 

While Transport Canada could not comment on exactly what the vehicle was carrying, the department has an Emergency Response Guidebook that includes the signage displayed on the back of the vehicle. 

The guidebook was developed for use by emergency responders, such as police officers and firefighters, who may be the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving dangerous goods. It allows them to quickly assess what type of hazards have been involved in the incident. 

The "Placards" tab in the left-hand menu of the online guide has all of the dangerous goods signage that appears on transportation vehicles. 

The sign on the back of the vehicle falls under the "Class 7" category, and Transport Canada notes that "radiation presents minimal risk to transport workers, emergency response personnel and the public during transportation accidents."

Photo via Transport Canada


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