Consumer-Patient Radiation Health and Safety Act of 1981

(42 U.S.C. 10001-10008)

Sec. 10001. Statement of findings

The Congress finds that -
(1) it is in the interest of public health and safety to minimize unnecessary exposure to potentially hazardous radiation due to medical and dental radiologic procedures;
(2) it is in the interest of public health and safety to have a continuing supply of adequately educated persons and appropriate accreditation and certification programs administered by State governments;
(3) the protection of the public health and safety from unnecessary exposure to potentially hazardous radiation due to medical and dental radiologic procedures and the assurance of efficacious procedures are the responsibility of State and Federal governments;
(4) persons who administer radiologic procedures, including procedures at Federal facilities, should be required to demonstrate competence by reason of education, training, and experience; and
(5) the administration of radiologic procedures and the effect on individuals of such procedures has a substantial and direct effect upon United States interstate commerce.

Sec. 10002. Statement of purpose
It is the purpose of this chapter to -

(1) provide for the establishment of minimum standards by the Federal Government for the accreditation of education programs for persons who administer radiologic procedures and for the certification of such persons; and
(2) insure that medical and dental radiologic procedures are consistent with rigorous safety precautions and standards.

Sec. 10003. Definitions

Unless otherwise expressly provided, for purposes of this chapter, the term -
(1) ''radiation'' means ionizing and nonionizing radiation in amounts beyond normal background levels from sources such as medical and dental radiologic procedures;
(2) ''radiologic procedure'' means any procedure or article intended for use in -
(A)the diagnosis of disease or other medical or dental conditions in humans (including diagnostic X-rays or nuclear medicine procedures); or
(B)the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in humans; that achieves its intended purpose through the emission of radiation;
(3) ''radiologic equipment'' means any radiation electronic product which emits or detects radiation and which is used or intended for use to -
(A)diagnose disease or other medical or dental conditions (including diagnostic X-ray equipment); or
(B)cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease in humans; that achieves its intended purpose through the emission or detection of radiation;
(4)''practitioner'' means any licensed doctor of medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, podiatry, or chiropractic, who prescribes radiologic procedures for other persons;
(5)''persons who administer radiologic procedures'' means any person, other than a practitioner, who intentionally administers radiation to other persons for medical purposes, and includes medical radiologic technologists (including dental hygienists and assistants), radiation therapy technologists, and nuclear medicine technologists;
(6)''Secretary'' means the Secretary of Health and Human Services; and
(7)''State'' means the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

Sec. 10004. Promulgation of standards

(a)Within twelve months after August 13, 1981, the Secretary, in consultation with the Radiation Policy Council, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, appropriate agencies of the States, and appropriate professional organizations, shall by regulation promulgate minimum standards for the accreditation of educational programs to train individuals to perform radiologic procedures. Such standards shall distinguish between programs for the education of (1) medical radiologic technologists (including radiographers), (2) dental auxiliaries (including dental hygienists and assistants), (3) radiation therapy technologists, (4) nuclear medicine technologists, and (5) such other kinds of health auxiliaries who administer radiologic procedures as the Secretary determines appropriate. Such standards shall not be applicable to educational programs for practitioners.
(b)Within twelve months after August 13, 1981, the Secretary, in consultation with the Radiation Policy Council, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, interested agencies of the States, and appropriate professional organizations, shall by regulation promulgate minimum standards for the certification of persons who administer radiologic procedures. Such standards shall distinguish between certification of (1) medical radiologic technologists (including radiographers), (2) dental auxiliaries (including dental hygienists and assistants), (3) radiation therapy technologists, (4) nuclear medicine technologists, and (5) such other kinds of health auxiliaries who administer radiologic procedures as the Secretary determines appropriate. Such standards shall include minimum certification criteria for individuals with regard to accredited education, practical experience, successful passage of required examinations, and such other criteria as the Secretary shall deem necessary for the adequate qualification of individuals to administer radiologic procedures. Such standards shall not apply to practitioners.

Sec. 10005. Model statute

In order to encourage the administration of accreditation and certification programs by the States, the Secretary shall prepare and transmit to the States a model statute for radiologic procedure safety. Such model statute shall provide that -
(1) it shall be unlawful in a State for individuals to perform radiologic procedures unless such individuals are certified by the State to perform such procedures; and
(2) any educational requirements for certification of individuals to perform radiologic procedures shall be limited to educational programs accredited by the State.

Sec. 10006. Compliance

(a)Implementation by Secretary The Secretary shall take all actions consistent with law to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
(b)Accreditation or certification program A State may utilize an accreditation or certification program administered by a private entity if -
(1) such State delegates the administration of the State accreditation or certification program to such private entity;
(2) such program is approved by the State; and
(3) such program is consistent with the minimum Federal standards promulgated under this chapter for such program.
(c)Noncompliance; proposed legislative changes Absent compliance by the States with the provisions of this chapter within three years after August 13, 1981, the Secretary shall report to the Congress recommendations for legislative changes considered necessary to assure the States' compliance with this chapter.
(d)Repealed. Pub. L. 104-66, title I, Sec. 1061(b), Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 719
(e)Existing standards and guidelines
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, in the case of a State which has, prior to the effective date of standards and guidelines promulgated pursuant to this chapter, established standards for the accreditation of educational programs and certification of radiologic technologists, such State shall be deemed to be in compliance with the conditions of this section unless the Secretary determines, after notice and hearing, that such State standards do not meet the minimum standards prescribed by the Secretary or are inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter.

Sec. 10007. Federal radiation guidelines

The Secretary shall, in conjunction with the Radiation Policy Council, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, appropriate agencies of the States, and appropriate professional organizations, promulgate Federal radiation guidelines with respect to radiologic procedures. Such guidelines shall -
(1) determine the level of radiation exposure due to radiologic procedures which is unnecessary and specify the techniques, procedures, and methods to minimize such unnecessary exposure;
(2) provide for the elimination of the need for retakes of diagnostic radiologic procedures;
(3) provide for the elimination of unproductive screening programs;
(4) provide for the optimum diagnostic information with minimum radiologic exposure; and
(5) include the therapeutic application of radiation to individuals in the treatment of disease, including nuclear medicine applications.

Sec. 10008. Applicability to Federal agencies

(a)Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, each department, agency, and instrumentality of the executive branch of the Federal Government shall comply with standards promulgated pursuant to this chapter.
(b)The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, through the Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs, shall, to the maximum extent feasible consistent with the responsibilities of such Secretary and Under Secretary for Health under title 38, prescribe regulations making the standards promulgated pursuant to this chapter applicable to the provision of radiologic procedures in facilities over which that Secretary has jurisdiction. In prescribing and implementing regulations pursuant to this subsection, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall consult with the Secretary in order to achieve the maximum possible coordination of the regulations, standards, and guidelines, and the implementation thereof, which the Secretary and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs prescribe under this chapter.