Chapter III Health and Safety of the Euratom Treaty offers the legal framework for the establishment of Euratom Basic Safety Standards (BSS) for the health protection of the workers and the general public. The first Euratom BSS date back to 1959 and the latest version, Council Directive 96/29/EuratomAll available translations. , was published as Euratom secondary law in 1996.
The Euratom BSS has been supplemented by additional binding instruments, the relevant legislation with regard to medical exposure being Council Directive 97/43/EuratomAll available translations. ("Medical Exposures Directive", MED).
After the publication of the 2007 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection the EC launched a revision of the Euratom BSS. This involves also a simplification of the Community legislation on radiation protection by integrating five current Euratom Directives, the MED included, into a single revised Euratom BSS Directive. The Commission adopted the proposal for revised Euratom BSS in May 2012.
The Commission also issues documents of non-binding nature, which have different status in the hierarchy of EU-instruments and include e.g. recommendations and communications. In August 2010 the European Commission adopted a Communication to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament on medical applications of ionizing radiation and security of supply of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine COM(210)423 (Working Document to the Communication SEC(2010)974 ). The Communication is focused on two problem areas, the radiation protection of patients and staff and the supply of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine. The document provides an overview of the main challenges and the Community action undertaken so far and aims at stimulating discussion in the European Union on the necessary further action and allocation of resources and responsibilities. The scope and coverage of COM(210)423 is not restricted to the Euratom Treaty but expands also to other EU policy areas, e.g. the European legal framework on medical devices and European policies for research and innovation.