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Maryland State Government Maryland Department of the Environment

Radiological Health Program

The Radiological Health Program (RHP) is mandated by Title 8: "Radiation" of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Environment Article, to control the uses of radiation and to protect public health and safety and the environment from inadvertent and unnecessary radiation exposure. This is accomplished through registration and certification of radiation (x-ray) machines, licensing of radioactive materials, inspections, and enforcement actions, where required, to ensure regulatory compliance.

The RHP regulates the use of both radiation machines and radioactive materials. Radiation machines are used by dentists and veterinarians, and in hospitals, mammography facilities, and other medical, academic and industrial facilities. Radioactive materials are used primarily by radiologists in hospital nuclear medicine units, but also by other qualified physicians and radiographers and qualified radioisotope users in the manufacturing and construction industries, academia and other authorized locations.  There are more than 5,000 radiation machines and nearly 600 radioactive material licensees in Maryland. Out of State radioactive materials users may work in Maryland for limited periods of time under reciprocal recognition of their out-of-state license after applying for and receiving reciprocal recognition from the RHP.

Additionally, RHP staff health physicists assume the responsibility of Radiation Accident Assessment coordination, analysis, communication, and field team surveyors in response to any actual or staged emergencies at either the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant (Maryland) or Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station (Pennsylvania). Designated radiation staff health physicists also respond to any industrial, medical or transportation radiation accident or serious incidents involving radiation.

The RHP is charged with ensuring that the public as well as radiation workers are protected from unnecessary levels of radiation. The general public and the environment are at risk if the users and handlers of radioactive materials and radiation producing electronic devices fail to recognize potential radiation hazards or follow proper radiation safety practices and procedures.

To prevent unnecessary exposures to radiation, the RHP inspects x-ray machines at dental and veterinary facilities every three years to determine whether the machines are performing according to rigid specifications and whether the machine operators are following proper safety procedures. The RHP also certifies the performance of medical, industrial and academic electronic radiation machines following inspection by State-licensed inspectors, and performs inspections of State mammography facilities under contract with the federal Food and Drug Administration. Facilities that use radioactive materials are issued licenses and are inspected on set schedules by the RHP to determine whether the facility is using proper safety procedures. Inspections are also performed on selected out of state radioactive materials users operating under reciprocity.

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Contact Info

This section contains information on the Radiological Health Program (RHP)'s regulations, general guidance documents, and downloadable online forms and instructions. Prior to submitting forms, please call the RHP at (410) 537-3300 so that we may direct you to the correct unit or staff member. Forms are available in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. To view the Adobe Acrobat forms, users will need to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Additional Links

Radiation Control Advisory Board

Information on Incidents, Accidents, Dirty Bombs, etc.

Effects of Radiation (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

Radon Information (Environmental Protection Agency)

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