France releases guidance on how radiology can become greener

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France's national radiology society (Société Française de Radiologie, SFR) has published a new booklet about building a more environmentally friendly radiology practice while safeguarding the quality of patient care. It is called "Radiology and eco-responsibility -- on the road to green radiology."

In the booklet's introduction, SFR president Prof. Hélène Kovacsik noted that radiology activity has an impact on the environment, due to the use of helium and gadolinium, and in particular in interventional radiology, through the production of waste products.

Prof. HĂ©lène KovacsikProf. HĂ©lène Kovacsik

The building of special premises that require radiation protection, hygiene standards, appropriate heating, and cooling for correct machine function, as well as the digital transfer and storage of images also impact the environment, noted Kovacsik. However, while eco-friendly strategies are key, quality of patient care must not be sacrificed, she underlined.

"Radiologists... have a duty to set an example in eco-responsibility for users and society as a whole. More broadly, radiologists have a duty to think and act for the generations to come, starting with the specialty's juniors, students and interns whose sensitivity to environmental issues is high," she explained.

The SFR committed to an eco-responsible strategy in 2020, creating four working groups at the end of that year:

  • Digital sobriety, coordinated by Prof. Pierre-Jean Valette
  • New technologies, coordinated by Prof. LoĂŻc Boussel (heavy equipment) and Prof. Vania Tacher (robotics and connected objects)
  • Contrast agents, coordinated by Prof. Alain Luciani
  • Waste management, coordinated by Dr. Audrey Fohlen.

Many different partners within and outside of radiology collaborated in the creation of the eco guidelines contained in the new white paper, including France's national college of radiology teachers' (CERF) "Ethique" group, the SFR noted.

The SFR has also created a committee dedicated to eco-responsibility which will propose a roadmap for months and years and will make regular reviews of implementation progress.

The booklet can be downloaded from the SFR website.

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