NORRISTOWN (February 7, 2007) -- Environmental Protection Regional Director Joseph A. Feola today announced that DEP has assessed an $80,500 civil penalty against MOST Health Services Inc., Voorhees, NJ, for conducting unauthorized x-ray health screenings at three locations in Pennsylvania.
"These health screenings were conducted without our knowledge or approval, and without the authorization of a licensed health practitioner," Feola said. "Itís important that these mobile operations have proper approval and oversight to ensure the health and safety of Pennsylvania residents."
In 2006, DEP learned that MOST Health Services had conducted unauthorized silicosis screenings in February 2002 at three locations in Pennsylvania: the Best Western motel in Harrisburg, Dauphin County; the Woodlands Inn and Resort in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County; and the Comfort Inn in Essington, Delaware County.
Such screenings require prior written authorization by DEP or the presence of a licensed medical practitioner during each screening. MOST Health Services had neither in place when it exposed an estimated 161 people to X-ray beams during these mobile screenings conducted from Feb. 19-23, 2002.
State regulations require users of radiation-producing machines to register with DEP in order to ensure that patients, personnel and the environment are protected, and that operators are properly trained. Registration allows DEP to maintain an inventory of X-ray equipment in Pennsylvania so that all users can be inspected for compliance with the applicable radiological health regulations.
DEP conducts approximately 2,800 inspections annually at facilities possessing X-ray units to ensure radiation equipment and facilities meet current radiation protection standards.