Have you received a letter from the EPA?

Members may recall the EPA sought feedback and comments from major stakeholders prior to the implementation of new regulations under the Radiation Protection and Control Act 2021.


Dental radiography involves extremely low doses of radiation and so is very low risk. Accordingly, the ADA SA sought an amendment to the proposed new regulations:


  • The requirement for practitioners to wear radiation monitoring devices be removed


What’s happened?

The EPA have now completed an independent evaluation of radiation doses recorded in dental practices.  Their assessment supports the conclusion that dose levels in dental practices are well below the reporting threshold.  This is provided other measures are met, such as the apparatus is shielded appropriately, and good radiation safety practice is maintained by operators. 

What does this mean?

The EPA has concluded that in accordance with Regulation 86, dental sector employers will not routinely be required to provide personal radiation dose monitoring for their employees*

So, there is no longer a mandatory requirement for operators of all dental apparatus in SA to wear Personal Radiation Dose Monitors (“radiation badges”). This includes when taking intra-oral radiographs such as BWS, IOPAs and also applies to extra-oral exposures such as OPGs, CBCTs and Lateral Cephalometrics. 

The EPA continues to encourage the provision of PRDM to pregnant employees and those who may be personally concerned with their radiation dose. 

*Please note that this is not called an “exemption” and does NOT appear on the EPA website as a listed exemption since the dental use has been determined not to exceed the limits of Regulation 86.

How does this affect our policies and procedures?

ADA SA has updated the Radiation Management Template for dental practices in South Australia to incorporate the change.  There is also comprehensive guidance on radiation licensing requirements for dental practices in South Australia detailing all recent EPA amendments, new graduate licensing requirements and information for business and practice owners.  Please review the updated documents via ADA SA  website: Radiation Licencing for SA Dental Practice (ada.org.au).