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Radiological protection for persons undergoing medical examination and treatment

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Radiological protection for persons undergoing medical examination and treatment

1) OBJECTIVE

To prevent excessive medical irradiation, without affecting the proper use of ionizing radiation for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

2) COMMUNITY MEASURES

Council Directive 84/466/Euratom of 3 September 1984 laying down basic measures for the radiation protection of persons undergoing medical examination or treatment.

3) CONTENTS

All medical exposures must be medically justified and kept as low as reasonably achievable.

The responsability for any use of ionizing radiation in medical procedures must be taken by doctors or dental practitioners entitled to perform such procedures, who have been trained in radiation protection, medical or dental radiodiagnosis and radiotherapy or nuclear medicine. Supplementary training must be provided in cases where such persons' competence in radiation protection is not recognised by the competent authorities. Assistants must also be given training in the necessary techniques.

In order to avoid the unnecessary proliferation of installations, an inventory of radiological equipment shall be drawn up and acceptability criteria for radiological and nuclear medical installations laid down. Additionally, radiological protection and equipment quality shall be kept under strict surveillance. The competent authorities shall be required to remedy inadequate or defective features of installations subject to surveillance. The authorities must also ensure that installations which are no longer medically justified or which have an unacceptably high radiation level are taken out of service or replaced. Moreover, direct fluoroscopic examinations without the use of image intensification must be carried out only in exceptional circumstances.

A qualified expert in radiophysics shall be assigned to sophisticated departments of radiotheraphy and nuclear medicine.

4) deadline for implementation of the legislation in the member states

01.01.1986

5) date of entry into force (if different from the above)

6) references

Official Journal L 265, 05.10.1984

7) follow-up work

Council Directive 97/43/Euratom of 30 June 1997 on health protection of individuals against the dangers of ionising radiation in relation to medical exposure and repealing Directive 84/466/Euratom [Official Journal No L 180, 09.07.1997].

Directive 84/466/Euratom is repealed with effect from 13 May 2000, and the new directive must therefore be transposed into national law by that date.

8) commission implementing measures

  • Radiation protection and quality assurance in dental radiology - The safe use of radiography in dental practice (ref. CG-89-95-971-EN-C - Radiation Protection 81)
  • Video on radiation protection in radiological diagnosis: Enough is enough (ref. CC-ZV-93-062-EN-V)
  • In course of preparation, guides explaining certain requirements of Directive 84/466/Euratom and the proposal for a Directive COM(96) 465 final, e.g.
    • Acceptability criteria for radiological and nuclear medical installations (Article 3 of Directive 84/466/Euratom), produced in collaboration with the competent authorities in the Member States (planned for the beginning of 1997)
    • Practical guide to radiation protection of persons in contact with patients treated with iodine-131, produced with the group of public health experts mentioned in Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty (planned for the beginning of 1997)
    • Practical guide to radiation protection of pregnant and breastfeeding women, produced with the help of the group of public health experts mentioned in Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty (planned for the end of 1997)
    • Practical guide to the application of dose reference levels, produced with the help of the group of public health experts mentioned in Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty (planned for the end of 1997)
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