Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (March 19, 2010) – The Maryland Department of the Environment has entered into an agreement with Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital to resolve the Department's civil claims for alleged violations of Maryland laws and regulations governing the use of radioactive materials and radiation machines. The settlement agreement requires Johns Hopkins to pay a $370,000 penalty. Alleged violations occurred at University research facilities and at the Hospital.

Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson said “To protect public health, it is essential that use of radioactive materials and radiation machines complies with safety requirements.”

MDE alleged that Johns Hopkins did not secure sources of radiation against unauthorized removal or access; allowed workers to use radiation machines without wearing individual monitoring devices that record exposure to radiation; failed to use and maintain certain radioactive materials and related equipment in accordance with requirements that ensure the safety of its workers and the public; and administered radiation treatment to a patient in an area of the body not intended for such treatment.

MDE alleged a total of 19 violations. Johns Hopkins does not admit liability for the alleged violations.
The settlement agreement also requires Johns Hopkins Hospital to allow MDE to attend its next four radiation safety committee meetings after the execution of the agreement.

MDE’s Radiological Health Program is charged with ensuring that the public, as well as workers, are protected from unnecessary levels of radiation, as any radiation exposure has a potential public health risk associated with it. To ensure this risk is minimal, it is important to follow all radiation safety practices and procedures, which are designed to guard against overexposure to radiation from the use of radioactive materials and devices that produce x-rays.