MRI Instrumentation and MRI safety

European directive on magnetic fields. (2004/40/EC) and MRI

by Denis Hoa


The 2004/40/CE1 directive concerning the minimum safety and health requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks from physical agents (eletromagnetic fields).

It aims to introduce limits to protect workers exposed during their work, to risks arising from electromagnetic fields.

However, in this Directive, the use of electromagnetic fields in medicine and especially in magnetic resonance imaging was not taken into consideration. Within the limits set by the directive, doctors and nursing staff who use MRI machines could no longer work in legal conditions.

In most European countries, scientific organizations and companies in the imaging and health field have requested a report of the transposition of the Directive into national law (the deadline is April 2008), as well as an amendment to this Directive to take into consideration the particularities and benefits of MRI.