Iowa Portable X-ray Regulations

Dec 12, 2022 3:25:26 AM / by Chad Hutchison

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) runs the Bureau of Radiological Health programs that oversee portable x-ray machines in the state. Program activities include:

Program activities include:

  • Licensing of facilities using radioactive materials
  • Registration of facilities using radiation-producing machines
  • Inspections of facilities using radioactive materials
  • Credentialing of persons using radioactive material or operating radiation-emitting machines

X-ray License in Iowa

Iowa Administrative Code 641-42.2(136C) lays out all the rules and regulations for acquiring an x-ray permit in Iowa.

Registering an X-ray Device

The Medical Use X-Ray Equipment program regulates the possession and use of radiation-emitting equipment used for medical purposes. 

The general requirements of the program are:

  • Register all facilities with portable x-ray equipment annually.
  • Set operating standards and ensure that all equipment meets them.
  • Set standards for healing arts screening.
  • Set and ensure that all operators of radiation-emitting equipment follow safety procedures.
  • Protect the radiological health and safety of all Iowans.

Regulations for Portable X-ray Equipment

"X-ray equipment" means an X-ray system, subsystem, or component thereof. Types of X-ray equipment are as follows:

  • Mobile X-ray equipment means anything mounted on a permanent base with wheels or casters for moving while assembled.
  • Portable X-ray equipment means equipment designed to be hand-carried ( but can be used with a tripod or other stabilization mechanism, so the operator is not holding the equipment during exposure).

Iowa Admin. Code r. 641-41.1 - X-rays in the healing arts

.3-4-(9) Portable or mobile X-ray equipment shall be used only for examinations, excluding intraoral dental imaging, where it is impractical to transfer the patient(s) to a stationary X-ray installation. Handheld mobile X-ray equipment may be used for routine intraoral dental imaging in place of stationary equipment. Handheld X-ray equipment shall be used only for intraoral dental radiography.

.6-5 Beam limiting and alignment regulations

.6-b-(2) X-ray control - used for greater than 1 week or used for greater than an hour and less than 1 week regulations.

.6-c - Source to skin

Other regulations:

  • Beam limitations
  • Tube stands
  • Protective barriers

Disclaimer: The information in this document is solely for reference material. Regulations change often. To be sure of the most up-to-date laws, contact your local and state agencies.

Additional Resources

Iowa Department of Public Health

Bureau of Radiological Health

Lucas State Office Bldg., 5th floor

321 East 12th Street 

Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

(515) 725-0306

Iowa Radiology License

Department of Public Health

401 S.W. 7th

Des Moines, Iowa 50309

(515) 281-3478

Tags: Portable X-ray Regulations

Chad Hutchison

Written by Chad Hutchison

Founder and CEO of Maven Imaging, Chad Hutchison has been in the medical imaging equipment market since 2003. As his business grew, he pioneered buying and selling medical equipment online and eventually began offering leasing and financing to meet market demands and help customers. His market expertise goes beyond traditional medical imaging and finance support, as he’s spearheading cloud-based lending solutions for vendors across the sector.