X-RADIATION

I just received a letter from the University of Minnesota which requests that I complete a U.S. Radiologic Technologist Survey. I’ve been doing this for years but this year, their request is so interesting I wanted you to see it.

Dear Ms. Barnett:

Your experience working with fluoroscopically-guided procedures and/or radioisotope procedures is of particular interest to the study because radiation exposure from working with these procedures may be higher than working with traditional x-rays. These procedures are being used more and more, and to further understand the potential health implications we are seeking additional information from technologists who reported working with these types of procedures.

The letter continues on about the urgency of a reply and contact information. It is signed:

Bruch H. Alexander, PhD

Professor and Principal Investigator

[Division of Environmental Health Sciences

School of Public Health]

Upon further investigation, I’ve learned that a considerable increase in the the use of invasive fluoroscopic and interventional radiographic procedures has raised concerns about the health effects of radiation exposure from procedures on staff and patients.

(Interventional radiographic procedures include cardio-vascular [heart] tests where catheters are introduced into the body.)

I am sharing this with you to re-enforce once more the dangers, perceived or otherwise, of x-radiation that you or your children receive while undergoing diagnostic tests. I recently wrote about this but it is worth repeating.

Radiation is truly dangerous. It is cumulative which means it collects and build ups in the body and stays there forever. Recent studies show that it effects and can damage the brain and other body parts. Think of that when you consent to having your baby x-rayed. I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m am saying be sure it is used judiciously. When the doctor says, “let’s get a CT just to be sure,” be wary. The next time your doctor suggests a diagnostic or dental x-ray for you, think about it.

U.S. Radiologic Technologist (USRT) is a collaborative effort between The University of Minnesota, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Health.

2 Responses to X-RADIATION

  • I have often thought that there should be more open awareness of the potential damage x-rays can do. It kinda’ puts you between the old rock and a hard spot when your dentist needs to see a dental problem you have and you need it fixed. There doesn’t appear to be a solution to this dilemma.

    • Dear Patricia,

      Fortunately, dentistry is heading in a good direction. There are now digital dental x-ray machines that tangibly reduce the radiation one receives when an x-ray is required. I guess the trick is to go to a dentist that has one. (They are initially quite expensive.)
      Anyway, good for you for being aware. Beth

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