November 2015

The Alliance for MRI welcomes the European Parliament's approval of a derogation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in its draft report on the revised 2004/40/EC Directive on Protecting Workers from Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMF Directive).

  • This derogation is necessary to ensure the unimpeded use of MRI so that patients have access to the highest standard of care across Europe.
  • The safe use of this technology is highly regulated. Criteria have been set to eliminate any danger to workers and patients.
  • MRI has been used almost 30 years, imaging towel over 600 million patients without evidence of harm to workers due to exposure to electromagnetic fields.
  • The Alliance supports the adoption of guidelines to ensure that working practices are in line with the latest technological developments.

On 14 June 2011 the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the directive on protecting workers from electromagnetic fields. The European Commission's proposal includes a derogation for the medical and research use of MRI from the exposure limit values, which will ensure that this vital technology will continue to be available for all patients.

Two years later, on 11 June 2013 the European Parliament adopted the report on the revised Directive on Protecting Workers from Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields including the derogation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) with 594 votes in favour out of 672 and 38 abstentions.

The adoption is in line with the First Reading Political Agreement concluded by Council and Parliament in April 2013, following intense informal discussions after the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) Committee vote in December 2012.

After almost 10 years of uncertainty, the Members of the European Parliament and Council took the step to ensure continued patient access to MRI by endorsing the MRI derogation in its adoption of the report on the revised EMF Directive 2013/35/EU on electromagnetic fields.

This is a result of the concerns raised by the Alliance for MRI that the former EMF Directive severely curtailed the use of MRI to the detriment of patients in Europe.

In 2013, the revised EMF Directive 2013/35/EU including a conditional derogation for MRI scanners from the requirement to comply with the exposure limit values was adopted. In July 2016 the Directive will come into force.

The ESR is pleased, that after all these years of successful multi-stakeholder engagement the Alliance for MRI can close its activities.

(Last revision: March 2016)