About the X-ray Program

The X-Ray Registration, Inspection and Certification Program exists to assure quality radiographs with a safe X-ray facility environment for both the people of Virginia and the operators of the equipment.  The X-ray Program registers approximately 19,000 radiation-producing machines (such as x-ray machines); sets performance criteria for them; and authorizes non-department qualified private inspectors to perform the evaluations and non-department service companies to install and repair the machines.  We also maintain a  list of Qualified Private Inspectors-September 2017.

Machines must be inspected within the established frequency of either 1 or 3 years, based on the type of use. Any x-ray machine that is determined to be unsafe for human use is restricted from use until the x-ray machine is repaired by a service company, and re-inspected by a Virginia  Radiological Health Specialist , or permanently removed from service. These regional radiological health specialists audit and monitor private sector inspections and perform compliance inspections of x-ray facilities.

The X-ray Program regulations provide for the following:

  • Registration of facilities;
  • Periodic inspection of X-ray machines;
  • Certification of X-ray machines; and
  • Listing of qualified private inspectors.

Additionally, the State, through the Department of Health Profession’s Board of Medicine, establishes qualifications for operators of x-ray machines that are designed for human use. This is done through a limited scope operator program administered through the appropriate medical licensing board.

The X-ray Program’s regulations require machine inspections on the following frequency:

  • Medical, DO, Orthopedic, Chiropractic, Hospital – 1 year
  • Dental, Veterinary, Podiatrist – 3 years
  • Bone Densitometers – 3 years
  • Special purpose machines – 3 years

In addition to the above activities, the program also:

  • Cooperates with the FDA to verify the safe operation of mammography facilities;
  • Cooperates with the FDA to help to ensure the human use machines are installed and function in accordance with national performance standards; and
  • Participates with other state Radiation Control Programs in the evaluation of Nationwide Evaluation of X-Ray Trends (NEXT)

Medical Practices

X-Ray equipment used in the practice of Medicine is inspected every year.  Ninety (90) days prior to the expiration on the green certificate, a yellow notice is sent reminding the facility that an inspection is due.  Your previous inspector’s name and telephone number is provided.

The operator of the x-ray equipment should have a license or a limited license to perform radiographic procedures or be a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy. One needs to contact the Department of Health Professions, Board of Medicine at (804) 662-9908, to obtain further information.

Personnel Monitoring Devices, Film Badges, or Dosimetry is required unless the private inspector can show through exposure control records or radiation monitoring that the personnel exposure should not anticipate exceeding ten percent (10%) of the maximum permissible dose, which is 500 mrem, of any calendar quarter. This should be documented on the inspection report, which then is signed by the private inspector.

The speed of the film and film-screen combination shall be consistent to obtain a good quality image. Periodic cleaning of cassettes is recommended. You should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Routine cleaning of a processor maintains good image quality. Regular changing of processor chemistry, keeps image quality at it’s best. You should follow the chemistry manufacturer’s recommendation for developer temperature. Not keeping the temperature constant can degrade image quality requiring retakes with increased radiation exposure. As with any darkroom, white light is a film’s worst enemy. Any light leaks, fog the film, reducing the quality of the image. Make sure your darkroom is light tight!

The following should be posted for each inspection:

Please see the Medical X-ray Machine Page for additional information.

 

Chiropractic Services

X-Ray equipment used in the practice of Chiropractic Medicine is inspected every year. Ninety (90) days prior to the expiration on the green certificate, a yellow notice is sent reminding the facility that an inspection is due. Your previous inspector’s name and telephone number is provided.

The operator of the x-ray equipment should have a license or a limited license to perform radiographic procedures or be a licensed doctor of chiropractic medicine. One needs to contact the Department of Health Professions, Board of Medicine at (804) 662-9908, to obtain further information.

Personnel Monitoring Devices, Film Badges, or Dosimetry is required unless the private inspector can show through exposure control records or radiation monitoring that the personnel exposure should not anticipate exceeding ten percent (10%) of the maximum permissible dose, which is 500 mrem, of any calendar quarter. This should be documented on the inspection report, which then is signed by the private inspector.

The speed of the film and film-screen combination shall be consistent to obtain a good quality image. Periodic cleaning of cassettes is recommended. You should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Routine cleaning of a processor maintains good image quality. Regular changing of processor chemistry, keeps image quality at it’s best. You should follow the chemistry manufacturer’s recommendation for developer temperature. Not keeping the temperature constant can degrade image quality requiring retakes with increased radiation exposure. As with any darkroom, white light is a film’s worst enemy. Any light leaks, fog the film, reducing the quality of the image. Make sure your darkroom is light tight!

The following should be posted for each inspection:

Please see the Chiropractic X-ray Machine Page for additional information.

 

Dental Practices

X-Ray equipment used in the practice of Dentistry is inspected every three years. Ninety (90) days prior to the expiration on the green certificate, a yellow notice is sent reminding the facility that an inspection is due. Your previous inspector’s name and telephone number is provided.

Exposure control switches should be permanently mounted outside the operatory to allow the operator to remain in a protected area during the exposure. In this case, dosimetry is not required. Stretch cords are not allowed in new office settings. For existing offices with existing units having stretch cords, the stretch cord should be permanently mounted outside the operatory. In this case, dosimetry is not required. If an existing office has existing x-ray equipment with stretch cords, dosimetry is required. An X-Ray Bulletin dated May 1, 1999 provides additional information on exposure control switches and dosimetry.

Dental X-ray film is now available in “D” speed (Ultra), “E” speed (Ekta), and Insight speed. Each speed of film requires less radiation than the previous. There is approximately a fifty percent (50%) reduction in exposure from the previous speed film. Contained within the Virginia Radiation Protection Regulations is Appendix E. Exposure Limits for Selected Projections containing maximum exposure limits for “D” and “E” speed film for Bitewing projections. Your private inspector should be able to tell you if your equipment is below these limits.

Routine cleaning of automatic processor maintains good image quality. Regular changing of processor chemistry, keeps image quality at it’s best. As with any darkroom, white light is a film’s worst enemy. Any light leaks, fog the film, reducing the quality of the image. Make sure your darkroom is light tight!

The following should be posted for each inspection:

Please see the Dental X-ray Machine Page for additional information.

 

Podiatric Practices

X-Ray equipment used in the practice of Podiatry is inspected every three years. Ninety (90) days prior to the expiration on the green certificate, a yellow notice is sent reminding the facility that an inspection is due. Your previous inspector’s name and telephone number is provided.

Exposure control switches should be permanently mounted outside the operatory to allow the operator to remain in a protected area during the exposure. In this case, dosimetry is not required. If an office has x-ray equipment with stretch cords, dosimetry is required unless the private inspector can show through exposure control records or radiation monitoring that the personnel exposure should not anticipate exceeding ten percent (10%) of the annual dose limits of 5,000 mrem. This should be documented on the inspection report, which then is signed by the private inspector.

Routine cleaning of automatic processor maintains good image quality. Regular changing of processor chemistry, keeps image quality at it’s best. As with any darkroom, white light is a film’s worst enemy. Any light leaks, fog the film, reducing the quality of the image. Make sure your darkroom is light tight!

The following should be posted for each inspection:

Please see the Podiactric X-ray Machine Page for additional information.

 

Veterinary Practices

X-Ray equipment used in a Veterinary Medicine is inspected every three years. Ninety (90) days prior to the expiration on the green certificate, a yellow notice is sent reminding the facility that an inspection is due. Your previous inspector’s name and telephone number is provided.

Exposure control switches or foot pedals should be on a cord to allow the operator to stand at least six (6) feet from the useful beam and the animal during the radiographic exposure. When an animal must be held during radiography, the individual shall be protected with appropriate shielding devices, such as protective gloves and apron. For this type of practice, dosimetry is required. Also, neither the operator nor the holder of the animal can be under the age of eighteen (18).

Routine cleaning of automatic processor maintains good image quality. Regular changing of processor chemistry, keeps image quality at it’s best. As with any darkroom, white light is a film’s worst enemy. Any light leaks, fog the film, reducing the quality of the image. Make sure your darkroom is light tight!

The following should be posted for each inspection:

Please see the Veterinary X-ray Machine Page for additional information.

 

Bone Density Equipment

X-Ray equipment used in Bone Density is inspected every three years. Ninety (90) days prior to the expiration on the green certificate, a yellow notice is sent reminding the facility that an inspection is due. Your previous inspector’s name and telephone number is provided.

The exposure control switch is usually located at a computer terminal or keypad on or near the x-ray unit. Dosimetry is required unless the private inspector can show through exposure control records or radiation monitoring that the personnel exposure should not anticipate exceeding ten percent (10%) of the annual dose limits of 5,000 mrem. This should be documented on the inspection report, which then is signed by the private inspector.

The following should be posted for each inspection:

FDA COMPLIANCE INSPECTION PROGRAM

The FDA inspection is an inspection of a recently installed x-ray machine (within one year from the installation date).  The purpose of this inspection is to provide information to the FDA regarding whether machines and components were manufactured and installed according to federal regulations.  There is no fee for the FDA inspection.  Assistance in complying with the regulations can be provided at the time of the inspections. 

 


Office of Radiological Health | 109 Governor Street,  7th Floor | Richmond, VA  23219

Telephone (804) 864-8150 | X-ray Fax: (804) 864-8175