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European directive will halt use of MRI scans; cancer diagnosis and treatment will suffer
Date:9/24/2007

s based on the assumption that the limits which it sets would have no effect. This would appear to mean that it is now illegal to carry out MRI scanning in the country.

The directive in its present form poses particular problems to those healthcare staff who care for patients such as children, the elderly, or those who have been anaesthetised, who need help and comfort during scans. It will also stop the use of MRI for interventional and surgical procedures, and will curtail cutting edge research.

A recent Eurobarometer (Europe-wide opinion poll) showed that most EU citizens felt that they were inadequately protected by authorities against the potential health risk posed by electromagnetic fields. More than two-thirds of people interviewed said that they were not satisfied with the information they received on EMF, and one-third said that they had not been informed at all.

However, in the medical field the use of MRI may lead to more exposure to radiation rather than less, said Professor Olsen. MRI has to a certain extent contributed to a limit in the increase in the use of ionising radiation in medical imaging, for example, in CT scans. This is important with respect to radiation-related cancer mortality risks and is, as such, in line with requirements laid down in EURATOM Directive 97/43 regarding optimisation and justification of medical exposure to ionising radiation, he said. If the public were informed of this I am sure that they would be as keen as I am to see that MRI is allowed to continue. The added value that MRI represents to medical diagnostics has been tremendous.

Policy-making should be based on sound science, and to my knowledge there is no scientific evidence of long-term adverse health effects of exposure to static or fluctuating magnetic fields that are commonly found during MR scanning. Hasty decisions without scientific support will in this case have a severe impact on medical diagnostics and must thus be a
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
ECCO-the European CanCer Conference
Source:Eurekalert

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