Answer to Question #4615 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:
My six-year-old niece underwent a chest x ray 10 days ago as it was prescribed by her doctor due to her four-week-old cough. She was exposed again this morning as this was again advised by the same doctor. What would be the harmful effect of this double exposure to radiation through the chest x rays she underwent in less than a month period?
There is no measurable risk from two chest x rays. This means that the risk, if it exists at all, is too small to measure. The average radiation exposure to all Americans has been determined by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements to be 3 millisieverts per year from natural sources. This excludes all man-made radiation, from nuclear power, nuclear weapons, medical, etc. A chest x ray adds a radiation dose equivalent to a few hours of this natural background radiation. There is no evidence that doses in this range are harmful to patients of any age.
Conclusion: There is no reason for concern about your niece's chest x-ray exposure.
S. Julian Gibbs, DDS, PhD
Answer posted on 8 July 2005. The information and material posted on this website is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may alter the concepts and applications of materials and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice specific to whatever facts and circumstances are presented in any given situation. Answers are correct at the time they are posted on the Website. Be advised that over time, some requirements could change, new data could be made available, or Internet links could change. For answers that have been posted for several months or longer, please check the current status of the posted information prior to using the responses for specific applications.
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