Use of ionising radiation on human subjects in medical research

Clause 33 of the NSW Protection from Harmful Regulation 2013 (the Regulation) places limits on how much ionising radiation human subjects can receive during research, in accordance with the document published by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), Code of Practice for the Exposure of Humans to Ionizing Radiation for Research Purposes (RPS No. 8).

This Code replaced Radiation Health Series No. 12, Administration of ionizing radiation to human subjects in medical research, of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC 1984).

In line with the requirements of RPS No. 8, all scientific or research projects involving the use of ionising radiation on human subjects in NSW need to be approved by the appropriate Human Research Ethics Committee, constituted in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans (NHMRC 1999).

For the purpose of the code an approved medical physicist means: a physicist who is accredited by the Australian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine (ACPSEM) or a person who is employed as a medical physicist with a minimum of five years experience where their duties included radiation safety.

Applications for research are no longer required to be submitted to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for approval, but the EPA remains the regulatory authority responsible for ensuring compliance with the code.

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