Radiation Protection in Veterinary Medicine
by National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements
Report No. 148 is concerned with the protection of individuals who may be exposed to radiation emitted by x-ray equipment and both sealed and unsealed radioactive sources in the practice of veterinary medicine. To the extent that the animal patient exposure is reduced, there is usually a proportional decrease in the occupational exposure to personnel. The Report provides guidance for the development of an effective radiation safety program and recommendations for the design of radiological facilities and for the use of radiographic, fluoroscopic and therapeutic equipment in veterinary medicine. Included are recommendations for the use of radiopharmaceuticals in diagnosis and therapy, and for the use of lasers and ultrasonic equipment. Although x-ray machines are widely used in veterinary medicine, the workload, and thus the potential exposure of both the practitioner and the technical assistants is, on the average, low. However, because practices such as restraining animals and holding film cassettes introduce risks of unnecessary exposure of staff, special attention is given in this Report to proper practices. Sections 1 and 2 consist of a Summary and Introduction. Radiation safety program requirements are specified in Section 3. The models used to determine shielding requirements are discussed in Section 4. Sections 5, 6 and 7 present details of the design, performance and operation of radiographic (including computed tomography) (Section 5), fluoroscopic (Section 6), and radiotherapy equipment (including brachytherapy sources) (Section 7), that relate to radiation safety and the protection of staff and visitors. Quality assurance procedures for radiographic applications (i.e., x-ray equipment used for imaging) are given in Appendix C. Section 8 covers radiation safety considerations, emergency response, and waste disposal related to the use of radiopharmaceuticals. Section 9 covers the nonionizing radiation safety and other associated safety concerns related to the use of lasers and ultrasound in veterinary medicine.