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X-ray N e w s l e t t e rFebruary 2006 Division of Environmental Health ~ Radiation Protection SectionInside This Issue Employee News Installing Equipment ...................... 2 Happy days have arrived for William Johnson and Larry Jackson. William Inspections Help ............................. 2 Johnson retired from his position as the X-ray and Tanning Branch manager after 32 years of service. Larry Jackson, after 42 years of service to the X-ray X-ray Retention Guidelines ......... 3 program, has also retired. Gov. Mike Easley present both with the Order of Types of Records Reviewed ........ 3 the Longleaf Pine award for their service and dedication to the state of North Carolina. Inactive X-ray Equipment ........... 3 Thank you, William and Larry, for your years of service! For Your Information ....................... 4 Top Six Violations Inspection results based on fiscal year 2004-2005: 1. An area radiation survey was not performed within 30 days following Check out our Web initial operation of equipment; site! 2. X-ray control device(s) not permanently mounted in a protected area; 3. Plan review was not submitted for review and acknowledgment prior to www.ncradiation.net installation;You can now download 4. Registrant failed to have a current copy of the “North Carolinaand print the following Regulations for Protection Against Radiation” at the facility;from our new Web site: 5. Registrant failed to provide a working technique chart for each diagnostic X-ray system; and Registration applications for 6. Failure to register the facility or update registration in a timely manner. Healing and Non- Healing Arts Proper Storage and Disposal of X-ray Equipment Model Guides for X-ray-producing equipment is used in many applications like health care, Written Safety Program industry and law enforcement. In North Carolina, users of such equipment are required to register the equipment with the section, except for federal and Native American operations. Contact the branch manager or X-ray registration coordinator using the following information. Address: Radiation Protection SectionEffective July 1, 2006: 1645 Mail Service Center | Raleigh, NC 27699-1645 Stored X-ray Phone number: (919) 571-4141 | Web site: http://www.ncradiation.net facilities with X-ray For a variety of reasons, it may be necessary to take X-ray equipment out of equipment will be service temporarily or permanently. According to state regulation .0209, subject to when the equipment is sold, donated, stored or disposed, RPS must be annual fees. notified in writing of the inactive equipment. The options include: • Place the X-ray equipment in storage on site. • Transfer or sell the X-ray equipment to a colleague or affiliate. • Transfer or sell the X-ray equipment to a service company. • Donate the X-ray equipment to a charitable organization. • Dispose of the X-ray equipment.
X-ray Newsletter 2Radiation Protection Inspections Help Lower Radiation Doses to PatientsDigital radiography is an emerging modality many Digital radiography and computed radiography arepractices are beginning to use as they replace unlike conventional film-screen systems becauseconventional film-screen systems. With digital systems, proper exposure levels to patients can no longer beimages can be taken, immediately examined, monitored easily by the appearance of the images.deleted, corrected and sent to a network of Digital has a greater dynamic range that enablescomputers. In medical radiography, digital images to be taken over a wide range of exposureradiography can lower the X-ray dose to the patient levels. With digital systems, two images that arewhile achieving high quality pictures. While digital acquired at very different radiation exposure levelsradiography is beneficial in most offices, it does have may appear the same. If an image was acquiredsome drawbacks. with too much exposure, the new systems will compensate for the overexposure. Because of theA recent inspection was performed at a dental office, simple physics of higher exposure resulting in less noisywhich was a modern facility using digital images with conventional film-screen imaging, thereradiography. One of the benefits of the proper use of is a tendency by operators of digital equipment todigital radiography is lowering the dose to the overexpose the patient in order to get better images.patient. During this particular inspection, the With digital systems, dose should be decreasinginspector found the radiation dose to the patient to rather than increasing. Dose creep has become abe 322 mR per exposure. This is a dose expected from national trend as more facilities are converting tothe use of D-speed film; however, the facility was digital radiography and computed radiography tousing digital equipment, so the inspector knew that replace conventional film-screen radiographicthe dose could be much lower. With the use of a systems.phantom, the inspector took two films. The first wastaken using the same time setting the facility used, Although the dose magnitude in general radiographyand the second was taken with a 2/3 drop in the is low compared to computed tomography andtime setting. The dentist reviewed the results for fluoroscopy, the dose to the patient is more critical incomparison and could not see a difference between pediatric exams than in adults, due to the greaterthe two films. This actually lowered the radiation radio-sensitivity of children. It is important facilitiesdose to the patient from 322 mR per exposure to 64 implement quality control and feedback avenues tomR per exposure. verify that the goals of image quality, dose and ALARA are achieved as well as to ensure staff is trained in appropriate techniques.What You Should Know Before Installing X-ray EquipmentBefore you install installation within 30 days of initial operationRule .0603 of the regulations requires a shielding (.0203 and .0209).design/plan review shall be: Performed by a qualified expert registered to Service providers must be registered (Rule .0205) perform the service in North Carolina (.0205); Health physicists and registered service Submitted to the Radiation Protection Section providers who perform shielding designs/ plan (.0204); and reviews and post installation surveys must be Acknowledged by RPS prior to installation. registered with RPS to perform those services Upon receipt of the shielding design/plan (Classes III, IV, V). review, an acknowledgment letter and All service companies installing, selling or application for registration will be mailed to servicing X-ray equipment must be registered the facility contact person listed on the plan with the RPS prior to performing services review (.0210). (Classes I-II). Registered service providers can provide you aAfter you install current copy of their registration. A list of registeredRule .0603 requires a post-installation radiation survey companies and qualified experts can be found on-shall be: line at http://www.ncradiation.net. Performed by a qualified expert registered to perform the service in North Carolina (Rule Federal Rule 21CFR Part 1020 and North Carolina Rule .0205), except intraoral and panorex units; .0206 require that the registered installer provide the Performed within 30 days of initial operation facility with an U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the X-ray unit (.0603); and Report of Assembly Form 2579. The installer must Submitted with application containing any submit within 15 days of the installation a copy of updated or new information regarding the Form 2579 to the facility, FDA and RPS.
X-ray Newsletter 3X-ray Film Retention GuidelinesThe Division of Environmental Health’s Radiation • The American College of Radiology recommendsProtection Section does not regulate film retention; retaining film archives for five years.however, the following information was compiled inan effort to assist you in developing a film retention • Through a recent survey of area hospitals, mostpolicy. hospitals retain X-ray archives for five years. Some hospitals discard X-ray archives upon the death of• According to the North Carolina Attorney General, the patient unless litigation is involved. there is no state law opinion, but consider keeping adult X-ray film three to four years and pediatric • The FDA requires that mammography films be film three to four years past age 18. retained for five years. If there has only been one mammogram, then it must be retained for a• The Joint Commission of Accreditation of minimum of 10 years. Healthcare Organizations recommends a facility follow state law on this issue.Types of Records Reviewed During InspectionsThe facility shall maintain the following • Previous inspections reports anddocumentation, which will be reviewed for correspondence regarding inspections with RPScompliance with the regulations at the time of (.1002)inspection(s). North Carolina rule references follow • Current copy of the current state regulationseach item. (.1002) • Dosimetry records for personnel (.1638, .1640 andFor all X-ray Units .1644) • Copy of the plan review (.0603) • Copy of the letter of acknowledgment (.0210) Radiation Safety Program • Copy of the safety survey (.0603) • Current copy of the radiation safety program • Copy of the Form 2579, FDA Report of Assembly (.1603 and .1636) Form (.0206) • Documentation of annual review (.1603)General Documents Posting of Signs • Current copy of the Notice of Registration from • Notice to employees (.1002) RPS (.0203 and .0209) • Radiation Caution signs (.1623 and .1624)Inactive X-ray EquipmentIf registrants decide to store the equipment, it may ads in professional publications or conduct an onlinebe stored on site in an inactive status. However, search.storing equipment that is no longer used is notdesirable unless it is to be returned to service after a Operational or repairable equipment also can bebrief period of time. Storing equipment that is neither donated to a charitable organization. Charities thatoperable or repairable is not desirable because the accept such donations can be located throughlong-term accountability of those units has proven to professional societies, community groups, religiousbe poor. In addition, some units may contain organizations or conducting an online search.hazardous materials. Written documentation must besubmitted stating that equipment is stored. When the Regardless of to whom the equipment is transferredequipment is to be used again, RPS must be or sold, the Radiation Protection Section must becontacted in writing within 30 days of operation. contacted in writing when it is sold or transferred. Be sure to include the name and address to whom it isEquipment or its components that is either sold/transferred.operational or repairable may have some futurevalue and may be transferred or sold to a colleague If the equipment or its components possess no futureor a service company. A list of service companies value, disposal is the best option. Disposal of thethat repairs or refurbishes X-ray equipment can be tube and transformer must be handled by companiesfound at http://www.ncradiation.net. To sell or equipped to handle such materials.transfer equipment to a colleague or servicecompany, consult with your service company, place For more information, contact RPS at (919) 571-4141.
X-ray Newsletter 4For Your InformationAny Change To Your Registration Must Be Reported Every Facility Must Have A Written Safety ProcedureImmediately: Program That Is Reviewed Yearly:Rule .0209 states that any registrant shall notify the Rule .1603 states that each licensee or registrant shallagency in writing when any change will render the develop, document and implement a radiationinformation contained in the application for protection program commensurate with the scoperegistration or notice of registration no longer and extent of licensed or registered activities andaccurate. sufficient to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Section. Record-keeping requirements relating to these programs are provided in Rule .1636 of thisOnly Registered Persons Can Sell, Service, Transfer, Section.Design Plan Reviews, Perform Room Surveys OrProvide Personnel Dosimetry Services: State Guidelines for Testing Lead Protection Garments:Rule .0204(a) and (b) state the following (a) Except as The section does not have regulations for the care,provided in Paragraph (b) of this Rule or otherwise testing or retention period for lead garments.authorized in writing by the agency each person However, it does recommend facilities periodicallyregistered pursuant to Rule .0203 of this Section shall check all protective equipment for cracks, tears orprohibit any person from furnishing equipment holes.services described in Rule .0205(d) of this Section tohis facility until such person provides evidence that he The following links may be useful:is currently registered with the agency as a provider • American College of Radiology: http://www.acr.orgof such services in accordance with Rule .0205 of thisSection. (b) No person registered pursuant to the • Health Physics Society: http://www.hps.orgprovisions of Rule .0203 of this Section shall perform • Implementation of an X-ray radiation protectiveany services listed in Rule .0205(d) of this Section in his equipment inspection program:facility unless such person satisfies the applicable http://www.dicer.org/jsp/journal/show_article.jsp?jid=JA-requirements in Rules .0205, .0213, and .0214 of this 132-82-2-S51Section and has received written authorization fromthe agency to perform such services. 6,500 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $631.26 or $.10 per copy. 2/06N.C. Department of Environment and Natural ResourcesDivision of Environmental HealthRadiation Protection Section1645 Mail Service CenterRaleigh, NC 27699-1645