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Regulatory body seals X-ray units in Guwahati, Shillong
Raju Das

 SHILLONG, Sept 25 - The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has sealed several X-ray units here and in Guwahati, including those in Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) and Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital, for not complying with regulatory requirement.

“The maximum noncompliance was in government-run institutions in Guwahati, which included the X-ray units in GMCH and Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital,” Amit Sen, AERB scientific officer informed The Assam Tribune here today.

He said 28 such units of GMCH have further been issued “sealing warning” for noncompliance of regulatory requirements. “The government-run institutions in Shillong and Guwahati are completely opposite. We are happy with the Shillong Civil Hospital as they have followed all regulations,” Sen informed.

Activities concerning establishment and utilisation of nuclear facilities and radioactive sources are to be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.

In this regard, AERB in the field of medical application of radiation is to protect patients, workers and the public from any undue radiation hazard and ensure safe operation of the medical equipment emanating X-rays.

For the safe operation of these facilities it is mandatory to obtain necessary licences from AERB. These licences are issued after the unit complies with the laid norms, ensuring that there is no overexposure to radiation by patients, workers and the public.

Under AERB norms, a worker cannot receive radiation over 20 millisievert (mSv) in a year. The limit is 1 mSv for the general public. Overexposure to X-ray could cause cancer as it is a carcinogenic agent.

So it is vital that all norms are followed and to ensure this AERB conducts ‘special regulatory inspection’, to see that all X-ray centres have licences to operate.

As part of the exercise to check compliance, a team from AERB has been inspecting such facilities in Guwahati from September 23 and here in the Meghalaya capital from today.

The team after inspection sealed the two X-ray units in GMCH and Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital in Guwahati and three private centres in Shillong for noncompliance of mandatory rules.

Apart from those sealed, the AERB also issued warnings to 32 units (28 in GMCH and four private centres) in Guwahati for not complying with norms under the Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004. A similar warning has been issued to one private facility in Shillong.

Sen said that those issued “sealing warning” would have to comply with the norms and get the requisite licence within one month.

“We have been carrying out awareness through newspaper advertisements for X-ray centres to get their licences as it is very important for safety of people and environment,” the AERB officer said.

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