CNSC publishes guidance on the safe handling of decedents

News release

June 26, 2018 – Ottawa, ON

Following a period of public consultation from August 21 to November 19, 2017, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has published REGDOC-2.7.3, Radiation Protection Guidelines for Safe Handling of Decedents.

Each year, many medical procedures using radioactive substances are carried out to diagnose and treat diseases. Patients having undergone therapeutic procedures involving the use of nuclear substances pose minimal risk to the public. In the unlikely event that a patient dies within a short period following their procedure, the nuclear substance may still be present in the body. The CNSC has received specific requests from cancer treatment centres and death-care professionals to provide guidance on this issue.

This regulatory document provides guidance and recommended practices for minimizing radiation dose to death-care professionals and other members of the public who may encounter a decedent with residual nuclear substances from therapeutic medical procedures.

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.

Quick facts

  • The recommendations in this document ensure that doses to death-care professionals and other members of the public are kept as low as possible.

  • REGDOC-2.7.3 is meant to provide information to death-care professionals and members of the public. A more technical document is being developed and will be shared with radiation safety officers.

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Aurèle Gervais
Media Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

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