As informed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, there are a large number of medical diagnostic X-ray facilities in the country which have not yet applied to AERB for obtaining the necessary registration.
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has been facing difficulties in regulatory control of these on account of the large number of units spread across the country and the accelerated growth in their number. However the radiation hazards involved in such facilities are very low, to cause any unacceptable health risks. Such units do not emit any radiation unless they are energized and no emergency situations are envisaged at such facilities from the radiological safety stand point.
In regulation of these facilities, AERB’s approach emphasizes on ensuring safety built into the design of the equipment apart from operational safety. The regulatory control is exercised on the suppliers/manufacturers to ensure maintenance of quality assurance during manufacturing/ sale of such units to give satisfactory performance during use at the place of end users. This is in line with the approach followed across the world.
AERB has taken up the matter with the State Governments / Union Territories for formation of State level Directorates of Radiation Safety (DRS) under the Health & Family Welfare Department of the respective State Governments/Union Territories.
Currently DRS is functioning in four states Kerala, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Tripura. AERB has also signed MoUs for establishing DRS with eight more States (Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Arunachal Pradesh).
State Governments/UTs are not authorized to do so. However, AERB has taken steps for enhancing the regulatory coverage for diagnostic x-ray facilities and there has been an encouraging response. AERB issues warning letters / show cause notices to certain non-complying institutions.