Sense about Science ? equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
European Commission Expert Group on PAD
On 14th November 2006 the European Commission Expert Group on MRI and the Physical Agents (EMF) Directive met in Brussels. It was a positive meeting with clear signs of movement on aspects the Directive.
The following notes were taken at the meeting:
The specification for the exposure measurements that the Commission is going to fund has been agreed. A contractor will be appointed in April following a tender process, and the first results are expect in the late summer of 2007. MR members of the Expert Group will be fully involved in selecting the contractor and reviewing the results. Four MR centres in different European countries have been nominated: it is thought that these represent ‘worst case’ for exposure in MRI (ultrahigh field, GA at 3T with staff in room, intervention on a high-field open system, paediatric GA at 1.5T). This research will complement the work already being carried out by Stuart Crozier for HSE.
A change of emphasis
Commission officials have said that the aim of the Directive is to protect workers, not to jeopardise medical practice. They have accepted that there could perhaps be a relaxation of the limits.
If research shows that there is a problem the Commission could propose delaying implementation for medical MRI until agreement on this is reached. Such a proposal would have to be considered by the Parliament and Council of Ministers (so lobbying member states remains very important). This is a dramatic change from the Commission’s previous, hard-line position.