Health Technology Management
Safety Standards Series No. RS-G-1.5. Radiological Protection for Medical exposure to Ionizing Radiation. Safety Guide.
One of the statutory functions of the IAEA is to establish or adopt standards of safety for the protection of health, life and property in the development and application of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and to provide for the application of these standards to its own operations as well as to assisted operations and, at the request of the parties, to operations under any bilateral or multilateral arrangement, or, at the request of a State, to any of that State’s activities in the field of nuclear energy. Different bodies oversee the development of safety standards. Member States are widely represented on these committees. The IAEA’s safety standards are not legally binding on Member States but may be adopted by them, at their own discretion, for use in national regulations in respect of their own activities. The standards are binding on the IAEA in relation to its own operations and on States in relation to operations assisted by the IAEA.
Technologies that make use of radiation continue to spread around the world: millions of people are employed in radiation related occupations and hundreds of millions of people benefit from these applications. The use of intense radiation sources for purposes such as the sterilization of medical products requires special care in the design and operation of equipment to prevent radiation injury to workers or to the public. Experience has shown that such technology is generally safely used, but controls have on occasion been circumvented and serious radiological accidents have ensued.