In their annual meeting 2011 the EFRS General Assembly has discussed the directive. Through their 34 national societies the EFRS represents more than 100.000 qualified radiographers all over Europe and the students from the 35 universities involved in radiography education that joined the EFRS in its educational wing.
As member of the Alliance of MRI the European Federation of Radiographer Societies welcomes the Commission’s proposal to exempt Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) from the limit values set in Directive 2004/40/EC to protect workers from electromagnetic fields (EMF Directive) and supports the Position Paper of the Alliance of MRI.
In Europe, radiographers operate MRI scanners in their daily professional activities and they are unanimous in supporting the derogation for MRI, because they do not experience any health effects once high and adequate safety standards are already in place, to ensure the utmost safety of workers and patients alike.
The EFRS strongly supports the derogation for MRI for the following reasons:
- MRI has been used for over 25 years, imaging up to 500 million patients without scientific evidence of harm to workers due to EMF exposure.
- MRI examinations are undertaken in highly controlled environments and there are stringent safety standards to ensure the safety of patients and workers.
- Radiographers are professionals who have the highest competency and responsibility in applying and maintaining safety measures in all imaging modalities using ionizing radiation and electromagnetic fields.
- MRI does not bring about any known health risks as there are associated with examinations with ionizing radiation, which modalities would be the alternative to MRI in case no derogation is given.
The EFRS recommends:
- to develop a European Guideline to underpin MR safety standards in all applications.
- to extend the European Commission Guidelines on Clinical Audit for Medical radiological practices (diagnostic, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy) with assessment criteria specifically related to MRI safety
From the radiographer perspective, the EFRS will develop European minimum requirements:
- for MRI education of radiographers
- for CPD in MRI for radiographers
EFRS (European Federation of Radiographer Societieswww.efrs.eu