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radiologic health branch (RHB)

Laws and Regulations 

 ​​RHB administers and enforces the following laws, enacted by the California Legislature.  Regulations implementing these laws are adopted through the rulemaking process by the Department.

 Radiation Control Law (RCL)

The RCL is codified in the California Health and Safety Code, sections 114960 through 115273.  Pursuant to the RCL, the Department registers, licenses, and inspects all users of radiation machines and radioactive materials. 

On a national level, in 1962, the State of California ratified and approved an agreement with the United States Atomic Energy Commission, the predecessor of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), by which the federal agency discontinued its regulatory authority over certain radioactive materials.  By such action California became an "Agreement State," and must maintain a statewide program that is adequate to protect public health and is compatible with, as determined by, the NRC.  This agreement is codified in sections 115230 and 115235 of the California Health and Safety Code.

Radiologic Technology Act (RT Act)

The RT Act is codified in the California Health and Safety Code, sections 106955 through 107115, and sections 114840 through 114896.

The RT Act also created the Radiologic Technology Certification Committee to assist, advise, and make recommendations for the establishment of rules and regulations necessary to insure the proper administration and enforcement of the RT Act.

Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) Certification

The NMT certification law is codified in the California Health and Safety Code, sections 107150 through 107175.  Under this law, the Department certifies individuals to perform nuclear medicine technology, as defined in section 107150. 

Other radiation related laws

These laws address emergency response, containment of radioactive contamination of the environment, and transportation of radioactive materials.  These laws are codified in the California Health and Safety Code, sections 114650 through 114835


Regulations implementing the above laws are codified in Title 17, California Code of Regulations (17 CCR).  Title 17, CCR is structured into five broad Divisions, with each Division divided into Chapters, each Chapter into Subchapters, and each Subchapter into Articles.  Regulations implementing the above laws are found in the following subchapters of Chapter 5, Division 1 of 17 CCR

Subchapter 4. Radiation

This subchapter, sections 30100 through 30397, contains regulations adopted under the RCL, and some of the other radiation laws identified above.  These provisions address registration and use of X-ray machines, licensing of possession and use of radioactive materials, standards for protection against radiation including public and occupational dose limits, and transportation of radioactive material.

Important: NewIncorporation of the identified federal regulations has been updated to Jan. 1, 2021 edition.

  • Public and occupational dose limits, in addition to other applicable provisions, are found in the January 1, 2021 edition of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20 (10 CFR 20) (PDF), as incorporated by reference in 17 CCR section 30253.  
    • The edition date for 10 CFR 20 (PDF) is changed from time to time to coincide with changes made by the NRC, and such changes are made via the rulemaking process. Do not use any other edition unless otherwise notified.
  • When reading 10 CFR 20 (PDF), you must use 17 CCR section 30253 for proper understanding.  For example, under 10 CFR 20 (PDF), the word "Commission" refers to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or its duly authorized representatives.  However, section 30253 clarifies that any time that word is used it shall be deemed to be a reference to the CDPH.  Thus, 17 CCR section 30253 tailors 10 CFR 20 (PDF) for California's purposes. 

All Users of radiation are required to conspicuously post a current copy of Subchapter 4, including the Jan. 1, 2021 Edition of 10 CFR 20 (PDF). (17 CCR sec. 30255(b)(1).)  However, a hardcopy of these provisions need not be posted, provided:

Subchapter 4.5. Radiologic Technology

This subchapter, sections 30400 through 30468, contains regulations adopted under the RT Act.  Under these provisions, the Department:

  • Certifies individuals as radiologic technologists in diagnostic, therapeutic, and mammographic X-ray use.  
  • Permits individuals as limited permit X-ray technicians in specific permit categories authorizing the holder to conduct radiologic technology limited to the performance of certain procedures or the application of X-ray to specific areas of the human body, except for a mammogram.
  • Certifies and permits licensed medical, osteopathic, podiatric, and chiropractic doctors for the use of diagnostic or therapeutic X-rays within the scope of their professional license;
  • Permits licensed physician assistants to use fluoroscopic X-ray equipment; and
  • Approves schools that provide the training courses required for obtaining a non-licentiate certificate or permit.

Subchapter 4.7. Nuclear Medicine Technology

This subchapter, sections 30500 through 30543, contains regulations adopted under the NMT certification laws, and may contain references to other laws or provisions found in the above subchapters.

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