The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has entered into an agreement with two State authorities of Maharashtra and Odisha for formation of State level Directorate of Radiation Safety for strengthening the regulator control on medical diagnostic X-ray facilities.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed last month, first with the Aditional Chief Secretary, Public Health Department, Government of Maharashtra on January 18, 2013 and the second one with Principle Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department to set up Directorate of Radiation Safety (DRS) in the respective States.
With these, AERB has signed MoUs with a total of 10 States (Kerala, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Odisha) of which DRS in Kerala and Mizoram are already functioning. Government of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are in the process of signing MoUs shortly.
It may be noted that diagnostic radiology facilities utilizing X-ray units are widely available in the country (approx. 50000) 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 of India which is the national regulatory body for enforcement of radiological safety regulations in the country. 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, 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, AERB has taken proactive steps to exercise regulatory control over all such installations by decentralizing the regulation of these units by having and MoU with State Government and Union Territories to set up Directorate of Radiation Safety in various States/Union Territories.
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) was constituted on November 15, 1983 by the President of India by exercising the powers conferred by Section 27 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962) to carry out certain regulatory and Safety functions under the Act. The regulatory authority of AERB is derived from the rules and notifications promulgated under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986. The headquarter is in Mumbai.