European Cancer Organisation

Alliance for MRI

  The ‘Alliance for MRI’ is a coalition of European Parliamentarians, patient groups, leading European scientists and the medical community, who together are seeking to avert the serious threat posed by EU health and safety legislation to the clinical and research use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

The Alliance for MRI was officially launched in March 2007 in response to the implementation deadline of the EU Physical Agents 2004/40/EC (EMF) in April 2008. The Alliance was founded by the European Society of Radiology, the European Federation of Neurological Associations and Dr. Swoboda MEP, Vice-Chairman of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament.

  • ECCO is delighted to be part of this initiative. ECCO President, Prof. Michael Baumann, discussed the importance of the Alliance and recent developments in July's President's Page.
  • Latest Press Release from the Alliance for MRI
  • European Commission Proposed Directive regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields)
  • Background to the Alliance for MRI


Alliance for MRI


In October 2007 the European Commission recognised the problem of MRI in Directive 2004/40/EC and proposed the first-ever postponement of an implementation deadline from April 2008 to April 2012 to allow time for scientific studies to analyse the impact of the Directive on the use of MRI. These studies proved that the exposure limits in the directive were detrimental to patient care. They would restrict and limit the use of MRI in interventional applications and in imaging vulnerable patients and children where closer patient contact is required. Furthermore, new research and developments in MRI would be severely restricted, as will routine cleaning and maintenance of MRI equipment.

Following further consultations, the Commission decided to revise the Directive in order to find a lasting solution for MR culminating in today’s proposal. The Alliance for MRI was instrumental in bringing about this revision.

MRI has been used for over 25 years, imaging up to 500 million patients without evidence of harm to workers due to EMF exposure. It is also well known that MRI is free from most health risks associated with ionising radiation such as x-rays, which would form the alternative to MRI in many situations.

MRI is central to the diagnosis and treatment of major life-threatening diseases such as cancer, cardio-vascular diseases, muscoskeletal and neurologic disorders. Emerging molecular MR imaging techniques are poised to make major contributions in the area of oncology. Currently MRI is the most accurate tool for detecting breast cancer in young patients with genetic predisposition. Cardiac MRI has made huge strides in recent years, for example allowing for the assessment of the functioning of heart muscle in heart-attack patients. Functional MRI, mapping out areas of the brain that are responsible for specific sensory and motor tasks, is making important contributions to neuroscience as well as improving the outcome of brain surgery for patients.


ECCO – the European Cancer Organisation, is delighted to support this initiative.

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