What is it for ?

The EAN produces a regular ALARA Newsletter, widely distributed (especially in Europe), to provide a link between all those concerned with ALARA, mainly the health physicists, but also the managers, the radiation protection organisations, the research bodies, the regulatory bodies, the trade union representatives and the medical doctors. This Newsletter intends to reflect some major aspects of the ALARA life in Europe: evolution of regulations and judicial precedents, results of research, description of existing databases, analyses of dosimetric data, authorities and utilities ALARA programmes, available ALARA tools, need for ALARA improvements, lessons learnt from incidents, and recommendations to EC coming from the panel sessions of the EAN Workshops. Each issue includes one or two feature articles, as well as experts' viewpoints and ALARA information.

The content of the Newsletter has mainly been provided by EAN Members. However, the EAN Newsletter Editorial Board has decided to also encourage recipients of the Newsletter to submit article for inclusion in future issues. Submitted articles should aim to fit the current ediotorial line and will be selected on that basis

  • Proposal should be written in English language and send electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You are free to translate the Newsletter: As in many countries the English language is not understood by some of the potential addresses of the Newsletter, it has been suggested it should be translated into other languages (Flemish, Spanish, French...). The Network is not able to do this centrally but, as the objective of the Newsletter is to facilitate as wide as possible dissemination of the ALARA culture, every participating organisation may translate the Newsletter and publish it as a 'common' publication with the European ALARA Network. Moreover any journal can translate one or more articles in its own publication using its national language, providing the original article in the Newsletter and authors are referenced.

Authors are solely responsible for their publication in this Newsletter. It does not represent the opinion of the community. The community and the Editorial Board are not responsible for any use that might be made of the data appearing therein.

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Download the 29th issue in pdf format  pdf  Newsletter 29

Editorial

F. Vermeersch, EAN Chairperson, P. Croüail, EAN Vice-Chairperson and P. Shaw, EAN Secretary

This issue of the Newsletter is almost wholly devoted to the implementation of optimisation in the medical sector, which faces a number of new challenges: the rapid development of modern technologies and procedures involving ionising radiation; a significant increases in patient doses worldwide; associated increases in occupational exposures; and the occurrence of serious radiation incidents and accidents. With these in mind, the aims of the 13th European ALARA Workshop (“ALARA and the Medical sector”) that was recently organised in Norway (7-10 June 2011) with the help of the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, were:

  • To consider how the ALARA principle can be better implemented in the medical sector, with regard to both patient and staff exposures from diagnostic and therapeutic uses of ionising radiation.
  • To bring together relevant European medical professionals, networks and other stakeholders working with the ALARA principle, to exchange practical ideas and experiences, and to identify further improvements.

As with previous workshops, half the programme was devoted to presentations, and half to Working Group discussions and their findings. There were 69 participants from 20 different countries, and a total of 29 oral presentations and 2 posters arranged within the following sessions:

  • Introduction and scene-setting – International organisations, European societies and networks
  • Tools for ALARA implementation in the medical sector
  • Practical ALARA implementation in the medical sector
  • ALARA culture in the medical sector
  • ALARA competence and skills in the medical sector

Two afternoon sessions were set aside for Working Group discussions, based on the following topic areas:

  • Challenges for the optimisation of patient and staff radiation protection in the medical sector (2 working groups)
  • Policies and tools for implementing ALARA in the medical sector
  • Education, training and communication to improve ALARA in the medical sector
  • Technical developments and quality control in the implementation of the ALARA principle

On the final day, the reports from the five working groups were presented and discussed, and form the workshop conclusions and recommendations described below. Individual presentations (slides), and the working group reports, are available to download from the EAN website (http://www.eu-alara.net/).

At large amount of information was presented at the workshop, and it soon became clear that all the ALARA challenges facing the medical sector could not be addressed in a 3 day workshop. It was also noted that there was relatively little attention was paid to radiotherapy. However, some key themes and issues did emerge, and these are summarised below from an EAN perspective.

Content of the issue