03 June 2021

Recent tests conducted at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) in Paris have confirmed that the Australian Primary Standard for ionising radiation, which underpins every radiotherapy treatment for cancer in Australia, remains accurate and in-line with international standards.

The tests were conducted as part of ARPANSA’s ongoing validation of equipment and involved comparison against the most accurate radiation equipment of other countries.

‘ARPANSA sent two ionisation chambers to Paris for testing to ensure radiation measurements, and patient doses administered in Australia, are accurate and align with international standards.’ said ARPANSA’s Chief Medical Radiation Scientist, Dr Ivan Williams.

‘This helps ensure what is being delivered to the patient is ‘what the doctor ordered’

The results of the comparison showed that ARPANSA’s measurement of dose is within half a per cent 0.2 % of the BIPM reference value. This level of accuracy is equal to, or better than peers in other parts of the world.

ARPANSA calibrates every hospital reference instrument against the Primary Standard for all 107 radiotherapy providers in Australia. The BIPM test is thus critical for ensuring that accuracy of medical treatments that use radiation. 

‘Accurate radiation dosage is very important for the thousands of Australians who have radiation treatment for cancer every year. The accuracy means that every patient in Australian is being treated with the prescribed amount of radiation, which is crucial for patients participating in clinical trials across multiple hospitals,’ said Dr Williams.

‘The outstanding results mean we can continue to provide excellent measurement and dosage services for Australian industries and continue to deliver on our vision of a safe radiation environment for the Australian community,’ said Dr Williams.

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