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AERB to set up directorates with Mah, Odisha for radiation safety

Posted on Feb 05, 03:02PM | UNI

New Delhi, Feb 4 : Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has entered into an agreement with the Maharashtra and Odisha providing for creation of state level Directorate of Radiation Safety and strengthening the regulatory control on medical diagnostic X-ray facilities in their territories.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed with the authorities on January 18.

Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary, Public Health Department, Government of Maharashtra signed the MoU on behalf of Maharashtra and Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Odisha for their respective states.

With these MoUs, the AERB has signed such MoUs with 10 states -- Kerala, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Odisha. The Directorate of Radiation Safety (DRS) in Kerala and Mizoram states are already functioning.

Governments of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are in the process of signing MoUs shortly, an official release said.

The diagnostic radiology facilities utilising X-ray units numbering around 50,000 units were widely spread across the country and a huge number of persons underwent diagnostic X-ray procedures every year. These units if not designed or operated properly may lead to unwanted radiation exposure to the patients as well as the operators.

The safety review and assessment of these machines is carried out by the AERB, the national regulatory body for enforcement of radiological safety regulations in the country. AERB stipulates various regulatory requirements for such X-ray facilities such as Design Certification, Type Approval / No Objection Certificate, Approval of Layout, Registration of X-ray Equipment, Commissioning of X-ray Installations, Certification of Radiological Safety Officers (RSOs) and Certification of Service Engineers.

In view of the tremendous increase in the medical diagnostic installations using medical X-ray units in the country, the AERB had taken proactive steps to exercise regulatory control over all such installations by decentralising the regulation of these units through the MoU with states and Union Territories for setting up DRS in their respective Territories.

AERB, constituted on November 15, 1983 by the President,is empowered to carry out regulatory and Safety functions deriving powers from the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 and is headquartered in Mumbai.