Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Reducing Radiation from Medical X-rays

    continued...

    Ask if a protective shield can be used. If you or your children are getting an X-ray, ask whether a lead apron or other shield should be used.

    Ask your dentist if he/she uses the faster (E or F) speed film for X-rays. It costs about the same as the conventional D speed film and offers similar benefits with a lower radiation dose. Using digital imaging detectors instead of film further reduces radiation dose.

    Know your X-ray history. "Just as you may keep a list of your medications with you when visiting the doctor, keep a list of your imaging records, including dental X-rays," says Ohlhaber. When an X-ray is taken, fill out the card with the date and type of exam, referring physician, and facility and address where the images are kept. Show the card to your health care professionals to avoid unnecessary duplication of X-rays of the same body part. Keep a record card for everyone in your family.

    FDA's Role

    FDA works to reduce radiation doses to the public while preserving image quality for an accurate exam by

    • establishing performance standards for radiation-emitting products, recommending good practices, and conducting educational activities with health professionals, scientists, industry, and consumers to encourage the safe use of medical X-rays and minimize unnecessary exposures
    • working with professional groups and industry to develop international safety standards that build dose-reduction technologies into various procedures and types of radiological equipment
    • working with states to help them annually inspect mammography facilities, test mammography equipment (X-ray machines to help detect breast cancer), and ensure that facilities adhere to the Mammography Quality Standards Act, which establishes standards for radiation dose, personnel, equipment, and image quality
    • monitoring industry technological advances that reduce radiation doses. Equipment manufacturers have already incorporated several advances to decrease the dose in newer machines that perform CT, which is considered the gold standard for diagnosing many diseases but also contributes greatly to the collective radiation dose to the U.S. population.
    • participating in "Image Gently," a national initiative to educate parents and health care professionals about the special precautions required for children who get X-rays. (Children are more sensitive to medical X-ray radiation than adults.)

    Medical X-rays: How Much Radiation Are You Getting?

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    No gym workout
    Moves to help control blood sugar.
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    pacemaker next to xray
    Treatment options.
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.