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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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This Week In FDA History - May 17, 1971

Photo of person being scanned as he leaves a contaminated building
  John Villforth, of the PHS Division of Radiological Health, during a cleanup of a radium-contaminated residence in Lansdowne, Pa., in the early 1960s. Villforth, who later became director of the renamed Bureau of Radiological Health, is being surveyed by Joseph Dennis as he leaves the basement of the house to prevent the spread of radium to uncontaminated areas.
May 17, 1971:
The Public Health Service's Bureau of Radiological Health is transferred to the FDA. Its mission: protection against unnecessary human exposure to radiation from electronic products in the home, industry, and the healing arts.

FDA in 2006

The FDA oversees radiation safety of medical imaging systems, counterterrorism security systems (such as baggage and passenger screening systems for airline security), and industrial and electronic consumer products that emit radiation (such as microwave ovens, lasers, and tanning booths). For these products, the FDA establishes performance standards,
recommends good practices, and conducts educational activities to encourage safe use. The agency is changing the focus of its Radiological Health program to adapt to current public health needs. The new focus takes into account worldwide performance standards, global markets for new products, and significant changes in the technologies of radiation-emitting products.