Radiation Reading - Radiation Exposure - Medical Tests -...

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Radiation Exposure - Medical Tests - New York Times .. 1 of 2 10/25/2007 12:53 PM June 19, 2007 THE CONSUMER With Rise in Radiation Exposure, Experts Urge Caution on Tests By RONI CARYN RABIN Advances in radiology have radically transformed medical practice, with CT scans and nuclear medicine exams providing physicians with the ability to quickly pinpoint internal bleeding, diagnose kidney stones or confirm appendicitis , assess thyroid function and identify and open blockages in the blood vessels to the heart. The downside is that Americans are being exposed to record amounts of ionizing radiation , the most energetic and potentially hazardous form of radiation. According to a new study, the per-capita dose of ionizing radiation from clinical imaging exams in the United States increased almost 600 percent from 1980 to 2006. In the past, natural background radiation was the leading source of human exposure; that has been displaced by diagnostic imaging procedures, the authors said. “This is an absolutely sentinel event, a wake-up call,” said Dr. Fred A. Mettler Jr., principal investigator for the study, by the National Council on Radiation Protection. “Medical exposure now dwarfs that of all other sources.” The study, financed by the federal government, is to be published by early next year. It found a particularly sharp rise in the number of CT scans — to 62 million in 2006, from 3 million in 1980. Though CTs make up only 12 percent of all medical radiation procedures, they deliver almost half of the estimated collective dose of radiation exposure in the United States. A CT scan exposes patients to far more radiation than a standard X-ray, and multislice CT scanners deliver higher doses of radiation than single-slice scanners. Nuclear medicine exams increased to 18.1 million in 2006, from 6.4 million in 1980. They represent almost a quarter of the estimated collective
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2008 for the course ENVL 111 taught by Professor Unknown during the Fall '07 term at University of Washington.

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Radiation Reading - Radiation Exposure - Medical Tests -...

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