The overall objective of radiation protection is to protect human health against the dangers arising from ionising radiation, resulting from practices using radiation or radioactive substances, and from non-ionising radiation, resulting from practices using electromagnetic fields (EMF).
As part of its ongoing commitment to ensuring safe, appropriate and effective medical imaging while maintaining the development and access to highly-innovative technologies for patients, COCIR is actively contributing to the on-going discussions in Europe related to the medically unnecessary non-ionizing and ionizing radiation dose exposure reduction.
Ionizing radiation has been used in medicine for more than a century and has proven to be an essential component of modern medical diagnosis and treatment. The technology has made much progress in the past decades, in X-ray imaging through the development of digital and computerized technology, in nuclear medicine through the introduction of novel radioisotopes and techniques, and in radiotherapy through sophisticated computerized treatment planning and novel techniques for more precise delivery of the radiation to the tumour. These modalities are regulated by EURATOM directives, besides the medical devices directives.
Non-ionizing radiation has been used in medicine for more than 30 years, in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which uses radio waves and a magnetic field to create detailed images of organs and tissues. MRI has proven to be highly effective in diagnosing a number of conditions by showing the difference between normal and diseased soft tissues of the body. This modality is regulated by the EMF directive, besides the current medical devices directives.