The California Department of Public Health, Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) has posted to its website an exemption for portable hand-held x-ray systems. Dental offices that use a hand-held x-ray system must have a copy of the exemption notice and comply with its provisions. RHB also has posted frequently-asked-questions, and the answers, on the new quality assurance regulations for film radiography. Links to both documents are located under the What's New section of the Web site.
California radiation control regulations state, "Neither the tube housing nor the position indicating device (cone cylinder) shall be hand-held during exposure." RHB has granted an exemption from this regulation to dentists and trained staff operating under the supervision of a dentist. Offices that use the hand-held units will be evaluated on compliance with the provisions listed in the exemption notice. For example, one provision requires personnel who operate the hand-held units wear personnel monitoring devices. A further exemption from personnel monitoring is made for users of specific Aribex units.
Quality assurance regulations for California facilities that use film for diagnostic radiographs became effective in October 2012. The FAQ posted on the RHB site provides responses to questions posed to department staff on the regulations.