Radiation protection

TOPIC

Radiation protection

Radiation protection

Humans are exposed to radiation, both by human activity and of natural origin. Exposure to radon in homes and exposures for medical purposes are the main sources of exposure to ionizing radiation in the population. Much attention is also aroused by the growing exposures to non-ionizing radiation related to technological media.

Since its foundation, the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS, the National Institute of Health in Italy) has always protected and promoted public health from the risks deriving from exposure to radiation, including their optimized use in the medical field for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. This activity is also carried out through national and international collaborations (e.g., since 2018, a WHO Collaboration Center on "Radiation and health" has been operating in ISS).

Radiation is characterized according to their ability to ionize the matter they strike, that is to modify the number of electrons of an atom, which corresponds to various possible damages to the exposed organisms:

  • ionizing radiation (X and gamma rays and subatomic particles, e.g. alpha particles)
  • non-ionizing radiation (low energy electromagnetic waves, ultrasound)
  • Ionizing radiation can penetrate the human body from the outside (for example, during a radiographic examination) or from the inside following the inhalation or ingestion of the so-called radioactive isotopes (e.g., the inhalation of radon present in homes or ingestion of isotopes present in food following contamination from nuclear accidents).

The information on this site is intended to help inform about radiation sources, exposure levels and related health risks, based on ISS research, consultancy and coordination activities.


Dipartimenti/Centri/Servizi

National center for radiation protection and computational physics

Topics

Radiation protection

Radiation protection in the medical field

Radiation protection in the medical field is developed through the implementation of Quality Assurance Programmes in the structures of the National Health Service in accordance with the requirements of EURATOM Directive 2013/59 for the radiation protection of patients.

Study Groups  are set up coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS; the Italian National Institute of Health) and involving experts from all the Scientific Societies of the radiological area (Radiotherapy-RT ( from conventional RT to RT with hadrons), Radiodiagnostics, Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine) to make recommendations on critical aspects in the field of Radiological Sciences.

Education and training together with clinical audits are conducted by the ISS at national level.

Participation in the European Projects OPERRA, EJP CONCERT, MEDIRAD in the Projects of the Ministry of Health OPRORA and BRIC INAIL PROJECTS together with membership in the European platforms MELODI and EURAMED are the main results of this extensive activity of AQ.

 

Guideline and documents of the World health Organization (WHO)

Medical Radiation Exposure – Bonn Call for Action 2014

Communicating radiation risks in paediatric imaging – information to support healthcare discussions about benefit and risk 2016


Dipartimenti/Centri/Servizi

National center for radiation protection and computational physics

Topics

Radiation protection