The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) launched an online tool for strengthening the safety of workers who risk exposure to ionizing radiation in the fields of medicine and industry.
The Information System on Occupational Exposure in Medicine, Industry and Research (ISEMIR) collects and evaluates occupational exposure data from two areas where radiation protection of workers can be a challenge: interventional cardiology (IC) and industrial radiography (IR).
IC facilities performing cardiac X-ray procedures and non-destructive testing (NDT) companies using radiation to test structures for faults or defects are invited to take part in the system.
“Workers in these two areas are typical examples of occupationally-exposed workers in non-nuclear energy sectors,” said Miroslav Pinak, head of radiation safety and monitoring section at the IAEA. “We hope that many medical facilities and NDT companies will participate in ISEMIR. This will help to ensure and advance occupational radiation protection in interventional cardiology and industrial radiography.”
Interventional cardiology procedures may result in higher occupational exposure as medical practitioners must stay close to patients when imaging X-rays are used. Industrial radiography, on the other hand, is often carried out under difficult working conditions outside the facilities. As a result, accidents and overexposures may occur more frequently.
ISEMIR will gather occupational exposure data received through selected coordinators at participating companies and facilities. After verification by the IAEA, participants will be able to review trends and analyse performance against others in their region and around the world.
“ISEMIR allows participating IC facilities and IR companies to benchmark the occupational radiation dose per procedure received by individual workers,” said Sandra Gabriel, a radiation safety specialist at the IAEA. “By comparing this information with doses received by workers with similar characteristics at other facilities, participants can identify areas for improvement and corrective actions to increase radiation protection.”
To access ISEMIR, users are requested to create an account with NUCLEUS, the IAEA’s web portal for scientific, technical and regulatory resources.
For more information, visit www.iaea.org.