Ionizing radiation

Medical radiation exposure

WHO Global Initiative on Radiation Safety in Health Care Settings


WHO has launched the Global Initiative on Radiation Safety in Health Care Settings to mobilize the health sector in the safe use of radiation in medicine. This initiative brings together key stakeholders (e.g. health authorities, international organizations, professional and scientific societies) in concerted action. The Initiative seeks to complement the International Action Plan for the Radiological Protection of Patients established by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2002. The provision of policy guidance to health authorities and the development of practical tools for users of radiation in the medical field will enhance protection of patients and health care workers.

The wide use of radiation in medicine calls for a public health approach to controlling and minimizing health risks, while maximizing the benefits. WHO is giving special consideration to the evaluation of possible health hazards related to the use of radiation. Using scientific evidence, WHO aims to raise awareness by the promoting radiation safety in medicine in particular by preventing unnecessary medical radiation exposures. The main objective of this initiative is to support Member States in the implementation of radiation safety standards in health care facilities.


Technical Meeting (WHO HQ, Geneva, December 2008)