Legislative safety against radiation will be ensured

DPI, Guyana, Monday, March 12, 2018

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings detailed that the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with other concerned stakeholders will continue to work to develop and implement safe work practices and procedures for employees who work with radiation equipment.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings.

The minister made this statement while opening the radiation legislation workshop being held at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory from March 12 to 16 2018.

Dr. Cummings told stakeholders present that “radiation laws protect workers who may be exposed to sources of radiation while working with certain types of radiation-emitting equipment.” She added that the implementation of a Radiation Protection Act and Regulations will address Health and Safety Issues that apply to workers who install, operate or service x-ray equipment and high-powered lasers.

Participants of the workshop were advised to focus on protecting those exposed to radiation either through work and/or medical procedures. Their participation, according to the minister, must serve to provide timely identification of new and emerging issues while being able to analyse their possible implications and to recommend or take action to address these issues to further enhance radiation protection regulation and implementation in Guyana.

In catering to the health and wellness of all, it was noted that the ministry will monitor and ensure that owners of designated types of radiation equipment are required to have it inspected and registered under strict specifications and detailed standards.

“Any exposure to ionising radiation carries a risk of causing cancer and above certain levels, there is also a risk of tissue effects such as erythema, hair loss and cataracts. For most common radiographic exposures, this risk is extremely small. However, as the risk is proportional to the level of exposure, it is important to ensure exposures are kept as low as possible.” Minister Cummings added.

It was noted that the Ministry of Public Health recognises that effective radiation legislation will help protect human health as well as the environment from unnecessary exposure to radiation by setting protective limits, providing technical advice, and preparing for and responding to radiological emergencies.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

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