About Radiation Control - Radiation Control Program

Table of Contents

Regulation of Radiation

The Radiation Control Program regulates the uses of radiation in Texas. This regulatory program is designed to prevent unnecessary radiation exposure to the public and perform vital, core public health functions guided by the Texas Department of State Health Services regulatory philosophy.

Public Health Functions

Texas statutes direct Radiation Control to maintain a regulatory program for sources of radiation to protect the citizens of Texas while permitting development and use of sources of radiation for peaceful purposes consistent with public health and safety and environmental protection. To accomplish this mission, Radiation Control:

Protects all Texans and the environment from public health threats of excessive exposure to radiation by:

  • Developing rules and guidelines that allow for the safe use of radiation
  • Evaluating safety procedures and issuing licenses for use, handling and possession of radioactive materials
  • Registering all devices and equipment that produce radiation
  • Preparing emergency and environmental surveillance plans and conducting emergency response activities for fixed nuclear facilities in Texas
  • Evaluating the financial qualifications of certain licensees to assure that the applicant is financially qualified to conduct the operations and decontamination, decommissioning, reclamation and disposal that may become necessary
  • Inspecting all entities licensed and registered to use radiation

Acts as the responsible government entity maintaining objectivity and without conflict of interest in regulating the use of radiation in:

  • Industry
  • Health care facilities
  • Medical and academic institutions
  • Offices of private practitioners
  • Mammography facilities

Uses enforcement authority and powers when necessary to:

  • conduct hearings on denials, suspensions and revocations of licenses and registrations
  • issue emergency orders when immediate action is needed to protect the public health and safety and the environment
  • impound sources of radiation from individuals who may not be equipped to observe or fail to observe rules for safe use of radiation
  • investigate incidents and accidents involving radiation

Provides community wide protection with inspectors throughout Texas with authority to enter public or private property to determine radiation is being used in compliance with all state rules.

Medical Radiologic Technologists

Radiation Control does not register or certify Medical Radiologic Technologists (MRT) nor do we issue Continuing Education Credits.

For information concerning your personal License, Registration, or Certification contact Professional Licensing and Certification.

State Regulatory Scheme

Texas is an Agreement State. The Governor of Texas signed an agreement with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission so that Texas government is responsible for all regulation of radiation within the state except for on-site activities of nuclear power plants and federal facilities.

The Texas Legislature has divided responsibilities for regulation of radiation between three agencies:

  1. The Radiation Control Program of the Texas Department of State Health Services - x-ray, radioactive materials and lasers.
  2. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality - TCEQ (formerly the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission or TNRCC) -- disposal of radioactive material except oil and gas naturally occurring radioactive materials, including uranium, byproduct waste disposal, and radioactive waste processing
  3. Texas Railroad Commission - disposal of oil and gas naturally occurring radioactive materials

The Governor has appointed members to the Texas Radiation Advisory Board that advises these radiation agencies.

Federal Regulatory Scheme

CRCPD -- Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors
A nonprofit professional organization whose primary membership is made up of radiation professionals in state and local government who regulate the use of radiation sources. Other members include individuals with an interest in radiation protection. CRCPD's SCATR program can assist with disposal of radioactive waste.

Texas participates in the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors activities, which include developing model rules for the US.

Federal agencies important to the regulation of radiation include:

Last updated March 5, 2021