Skip Navigation LinksDEP > Businesses > Radiation Protection > Radiation Control


Radiation Control Division

The goal of the Radiation Control Division is to prevent avoidable radiation injury from the use of licensed or registered radiation sources and to keep public, environmental and worker exposure to radiation-producing machines and radioactive materials as low as reasonably achievable. Methods of radiation protection include: public education, regulation, compliance assistance, licensing, registration and inspection of radiation sources, facilities, and users.

Specific legislative authority is derived from the Radiation Protection Act (1984-147).

The division develops regulations for the safe use of radiation-producing machines and radioactive material, with implementation of revisions as necessary due to changing technologies and substantiating research and testing. Guidance and fact sheets are developed to assist licensees and registrants in complying with the regulations and avoiding unnecessary exposure to radiation. The division provides consultative support to registrants, licensees and the regional office program staff in the interpretation of regulations and policy. Procedures are developed and updated to assist regional staff in conducting compliance inspections of registered and licensed facilities.

The major sources of radiation exposure to the public are medical and environmental. Medical exposure involves radiation-producing machines such as computed tomography (CT) X-ray imaging devices, high-energy particle accelerators used in cancer therapy and radioactive materials used for internal imaging and therapy. The major source of environmental radiation is radon gas in soil trapped by enclosed buildings and other natural background radiations from building materials, the earth and space. Radiation and radioactive material are also utilized in many common devices such as certain smoke detectors, thickness gauges and chemical analyzers.

Non-ionizing radiation is not presently regulated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Sources of non-ionizing radiation such as cellular towers are regulated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) share responsibilities in the regulation of sunlamps and tanning devices. Non-ionizing radiation refers to radiation that has enough energy to move atoms in a molecule around or cause them to vibrate, but not enough to remove electrons. Examples of non-ionizing radiation are sound waves, visible light and microwaves.

Contacting the Radiation Control Division:

Phone: 717-787-3720
Fax: 717-783-8965
Email: Please see DEPs contact page