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India's regulatory body for enforcement of radiological safety, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the governments of Maharashtra and Odisha for setting up directorate of radiation safety (DES). This is aimed at strengthening the regulatory control of medical diagnostic X-ray facilities.
Earlier, AERB had inked similar MoUs with Kerala, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhatisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat governments. AERB secretary R Bhattacharya in a release said DRS in Kerala and Mizoram are already functioning while governments of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are in the process of signing MoU shortly.
Bhattacharya said about 50,000 diagnostic facilities using X-ray units are widely available in the country and a large number of persons undergo diagnostic X-ray procedures every year. These X-ray 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 AERB.
“AERB has stipulated 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 and its commissioning, inspection of X-ray installation and its decommissioning, certification of radiological safety officers and service engineers.