30 June 2016
Canada Proposes to Amend Radiation Regulations for Dental Equipment, Pollution Standards for Common Household Tools
The Canadian government is proposing to amend the current radiation regulations for X-ray dental equipment in an effort to strengthen radiation safety requirements - in alignment with International Electrotechnical Commission standards - for new equipment, broaden the scope of the current regulations to address new and modern dental X-ray technologies, and require the provision of information to support optimisation of equipment use.
The proposed amendments would require manufacturers to provide additional information for each piece of dental X-ray equipment, including quality control procedures and dosimetric information. These information requirements are more extensive than what is currently addressed in the regulations and provide operators with the ability to properly operate and maintain their machines, ensuring consistent and appropriate patient dose delivery. Canadian authorities are also proposing to introduce a new requirement for a label on hand-held dental X-ray equipment to inform operators of radiation safety considerations associated with these devices.
Requirements in the current regulations for X-ray dental equipment would be amended with respect to such features as minimum tube voltage setting (by increasing it from 50 kV to 60 kV), exit field size for intra-oral devices (by reducing the maximum diameter from seven to six centimetres), radiation absorbing filters (by increasing the minimum attenuation requirements for extra-oral devices), X-ray field limitations (by including requirements specific to CBCT machines) and focal spot to skin distance (by increasing to 20 cm for intra-oral devices). Canadian authorities believe these changes would reduce the radiation risk to which the patient and operator are exposed during the operation of the X-ray device. In addition, the proposed amendments would enable the importation and sale of transportable hand-held intra-oral dental devices in Canada while introducing requirements to mitigate radiation risks from these devices.
Canadian authorities are also proposing to adopt more stringent emissions standards to reduce smog-forming air pollutants from common household tools, such as lawn mowers, snow blowers and chainsaws, starting with 2018 model years. The proposed amendments would align Canada-U.S. engine and equipment emissions standards, helping to ensure that engines sold in Canada meet the same stringent air pollution emissions standards as those sold in the United Sates.
Specifically, the Canadian government is proposing to amend the Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations by decreasing exhaust and evaporative emissions of air pollutants from off-road engines using a spark plug or another sparking device and producing no more than 19 kilowatts of power. Off-road small spark-ignition engines are typically found in lawn and garden machines (e.g., hedge trimmers, brush cutters, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, garden tractors and snow blowers), light-duty industrial machines (e.g., generator sets, welders and pressure washers) and light-duty logging machines (e.g., chainsaws, log splitters and shredders).
In particular, the proposed amendments would establish more stringent standards in Canada for emissions of air pollutants from the exhaust systems of engines designed to be used in non-hand-held machines. They would also introduce standards in Canada for emissions of air pollutants due to the evaporation of fuel from the fuel systems of engines designed to be used in hand-held and non-hand-held machines. Moreover, the proposed amendments would reduce the frequency of submission of importation declarations for Canadian companies that import off-road small spark-ignition engines.