Regulating devices that give off radiation

Learn how Health Canada protects you against unsafe levels of radiation given off from some devices.

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Regulating devices that give off radiation

People use and are exposed to radiation sources every day.

Some manufactured devices generate radiation, including:

The Radiation Emitting Devices Act sets the requirements for all devices that give off radiation, except those subject to the:

In Canada, all devices must comply with the standards outlined in the Radiation Emitting Devices Act if they will be:

  • sold
  • resold
  • leased
  • imported

Companies are required to comply with federal requirements concerning aspects such as:

  • labelling
  • emissions
  • construction
  • performance

Radiation-emitting devices classed as consumer products must meet additional requirements of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. Medical devices must meet the regulations in the Food and Drugs Act.

Monitoring safety and quality

Health Canada manages the health and safety risks posed by radiation-emitting devices by:

  • staying updated on the latest science
  • conducting reviews and risk assessments
  • sharing information with other regulators
  • researching the safety and risks of devices
  • inspecting and testing devices in our laboratories
  • collecting and analyzing complaints and incident reports from:
    • the public
    • companies
    • health professionals
  • providing radiation safety guidance to federally regulated facilities containing radiation-emitting devices

We also require companies that manufacture radiation-emitting devices to notify us if:

  • devices are not compliant with the standards of the Radiation Emitting Devices Act
  • radiation from a device is causing a health risk because:
    • it's not working as it's supposed to
    • it's giving off more radiation than is needed

If data suggest a possible new safety concern with a product, we review available evidence to:

  • confirm the risk
  • decide how best to address the risk

Depending on the severity of the concern, we may:

  • recommend changes to how the product can be:
    • used
    • manufactured
    • labelled
  • require that new warnings be added to the safety information
  • ensure the product is removed from the market
  • request that the company change its instructions for use
  • communicate the risks to health professionals and the public

Creating policies and setting standards

Health Canada develops regulations, guidelines, standards and safety codes to reduce risks posed by radiation-emitting devices to:

  • users
  • patients
  • service personnel
  • the general public

To help companies understand the requirements and their responsibilities more clearly, we produce:

  • guidance documents
  • policies and standards

Promoting and enforcing compliance

We make sure companies and products are meeting Canada's high safety and quality standards by:

  • conducting planned reviews of products
  • working with partner organizations, such as the Canada Border Services Agency, to make informed recommendations regarding entry of products into Canada

If a company fails to comply, we have a range of options to obtain compliance.

Collaborating with partners

Health Canada helps to protect your health and safety by working with a range of partners and stakeholders. We provide radiation advice to:

  • general public
  • organizations
  • industry professionals
  • government departments and agencies

We work with these groups to:

  • share information
  • seek independent expert advice
  • collaborate to help address shared issues that present risks to public health and safety

Engaging and informing Canadians

Health Canada engages and informs Canadians on important issues by:

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