• 03 MAR 09
    • 0

    #1028 : ICNIRP exposure limits in conflict with the MRI industry

    Previously on this list I have mentioned the proposed three-fold increase in Australia’s powerfrequency exposure standards by a working group from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA). I have also suggested that this increase (3,000mG residential and 15,000mG occupational) is due to lobbying from the MRI industry / users who are concerned that the new generation high power MRI machines exposure operators and service technicians to EMF levels in excess of the ICNIRP guideline limits. This is clear evidence that exposure limits are set for economic purposes and not for public health protection. Another effect of this increase is that these new increased limits will be quoted by government agencies as supposed safe limits even though they have absolutely no biological relevance for humans. The following, sent in by Sage Associates explores this issue in the context of the EU Directive. Will the EU go the way of Australia and simply increase the exposure limits to suit the technology?



    Insider News
    EU Directive on electromagnetic fields postponed

    Published: 21/02/2008 – PDF Version (74 KB)

    The European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) has welcomed the European
    Parliament’s overwhelming vote to postpone for four years the implementation
    of the EU Directive on electromagnetic fields.

    The EU Physical Agents (Electromagnetic Fields) Directive 2004/40/EC was due
    to be implemented in all member states by April this year, but it would have
    had the unintended effect of halting the use of magnetic resonance imaging
    (MRI), an important tool in cancer diagnosis, treatment and research. On
    February 19 (2008), the European Parliament voted to postpone the Directive
    until 2012 in order to allow time for extensive consultation and amendment
    to take place.

    Professor Alexander Eggermont, President of ECCO, said today (Thursday 21
    February): “We are delighted that the European Parliament has voted to
    postpone the implementation of this EU Directive. ECCO represents some
    40,000 professionals working across Europe and we were most concerned that
    the Directive would have effectively banned the use of MRI for cancer
    diagnosis and cancer research. This would have been very bad news for
    patients as some eight million MRI patient examinations are carried out each
    year in Europe.

    “The Directive would have posed particular problems to those healthcare
    staff that care for patients such as children, the elderly, or those who
    have been anaesthetised, and who need help and comfort during scans. It
    would also have stopped the use of MRI for interventional and surgical

    “ECCO will now be involved in the scientific consultations that the European
    Commission will be undertaking to amend the Directive, in order to ensure
    that major advances that have been made in cancer care are not put into

    Leave a reply →