Magnetic Resonance Imaging Environment Safety

Completed June 2006


With the increase prevalence of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exams in Ontario, the emerging use of MRI for image guided surgery, and the higher field strength MRI machines used for exams, it is important to address the potential risks to patient and staff safety in the MR environment.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of safety maintained at MR facilities in Ontario, assess the MR safety literature, and provide recommendations to OHTAC on maintaining a high level of safety at MR sites in Ontario. The scope of this study was focused on the MR environment, including the region from the centre of the magnet bore and extends out to the patient waiting and reception areas. The environment is divided into four zones as defined by the American College of Radiology.

Several recommendations were made for the MRI Safety Committee’s consideration and discuss the layout of MRI environments, staff training, patient gowns and labelling/signage. Further details can be found in the published report below.

Funding Agency

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

Project Sponsor

Dr. Tony Easty

Refereed Proceedings:

Easty, A., Jessa, M. (2007, Jun). MRI environmental safety in Ontario. Proceedings of the 30th Conference of the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society.

Research Reports:

Jessa, M., Easty, A. (2006). Magnetic resonance imaging environment safety in Ontario. Retrieved from:


University Health Network

Medical Advisory Secretariat, Ministry of Health and Long-term Care

Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC)

Ontario Hospital Association (OHA)

Project Team

Munira Jessa

For more information about this project, contact:

Dr. Tony Easty