Can X Ray Kill You

Bob Roberts
• Monday, 11 January, 2021
• 7 min read

In general people are afraid of radiation, and that is a good thing. It can, and in many places, does keep you warm on a cold winter day.

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The answer of course is you will get more radiation from the plant burning coal. Radiation measurements can get complicated, but a simplified and generally correct summary is this.

REM stands for Roentgen Equivalent for Man. If you live on the East coast of the USA, you get about 50-60 milligrams of radiation a year from natural sources.

If you live in Denver, built on top of granite and a mile a high, you get about 150 milligrams a year. You get more if you are an airline pilot and spend a lot of time at 35,000 feet.

Alpha and Beta rays are easily stopped by paper, clothes and skin. It takes a few inches of lead or a few feet of concrete and dirt to slow or stop them.

A detonating nuclear device will produce a LOT of gamma rays. Even if the blast doesn’t get you, the dose of radiation could be very high, and perhaps fatal.

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It’s just taking some radioactive material and blowing it up with conventional explosives. It will not go far, and it will spread highly concentrated material over a wide area, and thus greatly reduce the radiation.

More so than healthy cells, and that is why many cancer patients are given enough radiation to make them sick. If 100 people get a sudden dose of 350 rems of radiation, about 3.5 sieverts, then about half of them will die in 60 days.

If you are unlucky enough to get dosed with 500 rems, you may vomit right away, but the next day you will probably be ok. Experts call this the walking dead phase.

Gamma Ray exposure in the USA from Nat. The latest Science from the National Academies is that 100 milligrams per year over a lifetime will cause one cancer in every 175 people.

Suppose someone sets off a dirty bomb, and it will give me 100 mill rems a year if I stay in the house I love. Sources: http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/rert/radfacts.html Dr. Robert Muller Lecture on Radiation U. Cal.

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Berkeley and PHYSICS FOR FUTURE PRESIDENTS also by him-on Amazon BTW http://www.beyondweird.com/survival/1hrrads.html National Academies of Science, Prepublication Copy, Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation BEAR VII Phase 2, June 29, 2005, page 500 Table 12-9.

We fret about airport scanners, power lines, cell phones and even microwaves. Of the many ways people are over tested and over treated, imaging is one of the most common and insidious.

The best guess is based on the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident and studies of Japanese atomic bomb survivors who had excess cancer risk after exposures of 50 to 150 millisieverts (a measure of dose) of radiation. A study by Columbia University researchers, published in 2007, estimated that in a few decades, as many as 2 percent of all cancers in the U.S. might be due to radiation from CT scans given now.

Since previous studies suggest that a third of all tests are unnecessary, 20 million adults and more than 1 million children are needlessly being put at risk, they concluded. Just because a scan didn't find anything wrong doesn't mean a test wasn't needed. Scans have become a crutch for doctors afraid of using exams and judgment to make a diagnosis.

X -rays are often required by insurers to prove health, or for students to study abroad. Rural hospitals may not have an ultrasound technologist on duty in the wee hours, but imaging machines are always there.

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Will lead shields be used to keep radiation away from places it can do harm?_Do you have a financial stake in the machines that will be used?_Can I have a copy of the image and information on the dose? The impact of radiations depends on their dose and frequency, a patient’s age and sex, and type of scan.

Radiations used in regular scans are 100 times weaker than harmful levels. By passing rays through the human body we get exact images of the insides, helping accurately diagnose the severity of a disease.

An MRI scan uses magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of the internal structure of the body. As there is no radiation involved in this procedure, it is a safe (and painless) method to scan almost anybody part.

The low level of radiation a patient is exposed to during these scans is measured in units called millisieverts (MTV). According to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Committee, a person’s average annual radiation exposure from natural sources is about 3.1 MTV.

Experts reckon the safety of scans more in terms of radiation dose and frequency than numbers. The amount of radiation that a particular organ receives during a CT scan depends on the number of scans undergone, the size of the patient, the specific design of the scanner being used, and the rotation or exposure time.

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Around 100 CT scans lead to an effective dose of 600 MTV, which would pose a high risk of cancer. A study by Smith-Bindman et al., however, concluded that radiation doses from commonly performed diagnostic CT examinations are higher and more variable than generally cited.

A Harvard Teaching Hospital expert sums up the safety angle: “Radiation-induced soft tissue injury occurs at about 2000 may and higher. The radiation dosage one is exposed to may usually be much below the safe parameters and these numbers shouldn’t unnerve us just yet.

But it is definitely a good idea to understand the effects of radiation on the body and take precautions to avoid or minimize exposure wherever possible. Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice.

Part of the answer to this question is that most health care practitioners have been educated to believe that the benefits of taking x -rays for diagnostic purposes far outweigh the negative consequences of being exposed to ionizing radiation. Most experts feel that this low risk is largely outweighed by the benefits of information gained from appropriate imaging.

X -rays are monitored and regulated to provide the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. In today’s society, I believe that some health practitioners think first and foremost about protecting themselves against legal action.

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Rather than devote all of their energy to thinking about what is absolutely best for their patients in the short and long term, they perform diagnostic tests and give recommendations that fall in line with their professional “standards of practice.” This is undoubtedly so that if trouble arises, the doctor has records to prove that he gave perfectly competent care according to his profession's standards of practice.

Perhaps toucan imagine how a health practitioner can paint these normal, degenerative changes and other clinically irrelevant findings in a frightening way to persuade a patient to receive his or her treatments. If you are skeptical about this, you need to participate in a practice management seminar to experience firsthand how some practitioners are finely trained to translate using x -rays to making money.

I believe that babies, growing children, and pregnant women should not be exposed to x -rays unless they are faced with a life or limb-threatening situation or unless a needed medical procedure cannot occur without information that can only be obtained through imaging. Dr. Goffman is one of the few scientists in this world who has had the courage to fight for greater public awareness of the dangers of ionizing radiation.

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